Friday, 15 May 2009

Times: PL supports minority rights

The Labour Party has always supported the protection of minority rights, even through its participation in the European Parliament in the past five years, PL leader Joseph Muscat said.

Speaking during a forum as part of the party's EP elections campaign, Dr Muscat said the PL had supported the rights of minority groups, including homosexuals. Others had made excuses not to vote in favour of the rights of homosexuals and in favour of reports condemning homophobia.

The PL believed it was time for minority groups, including homosexuals and unmarried couples, to be given rights.

It believed that the right of a civil partnership should be introduced. This should be a wide concept incorporating the rights of homosexuals and people living together outside marriage.

He said that the PL's request for the Rent Laws to also cover homosexuals and unmarried couples was not accepted by the Nationalist government and these people were to remain unprotected as a result.

The PL had a good track record even in the sector of people with a disability and had been involved in negotiations which led to a new directive prohibiting discrimination in air travel for people with disability.

It believed it was now time for the state to address one of the biggest problem the parents of people with a disability were facing - that of what they should do with their children once they died.

One solution could be small homes which could be integrated in the community and where the role of the state would be to ensure that these people received all the necessary services.

The PL believed it was the duty of the state to help people with a disability and their families lead a dignified life in the community.

Dr Muscat said the PL would be addressing the fact that Malta still lacked a Mental Health Act and would be moving parliamentary questions in hope that things would start moving.

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