Thursday, 6 August 2009

MaltaStar: What's the matter, David?

05 August 2009 by Sandro Mangion

Labour's John Attard Montalto has finally joined his fellow Maltese MEPs in signing a pledge to promote equality and combat discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

In several of my blog entries over the past weeks I have focused on this ten-point document, which was formulated by the International Gay and Lesbian Association's European branch. European Parliament election candidates had been asked to endorse it in the run up to election day (4-7 June 2009). Nonetheless, several newly-elected MEPs who had not signed it in time, are doing so now. Better late then never. So, nevertheless, thumbs up to you, John.

One fifth of the newly-elected members of the 736-seat European Parliament have till now signed the pledge.

Attard Montalto's endorsement leaves only one Maltese signature missing: that of Nationalist MEP David Casa. It is hard to understand why he is hesitating, given that in the past legislature he was the only Maltese MEP to make frequently appearances in gay clubs in Brussels carrying out "activities of a political nature". They LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community expected him to be the first to sign. His shying away is baffling.

Congratulations to all the other MEPs. Having said that, though, there's one point I would like to hammer home. The fact itself that 4+1 MEPs (I'm including Labour's Joseph Cuschieri, who would get a seat in the EP should the Lisbon Treaty come into force) have publicly committed themselves to LGBT equality is a step forward. However, such declarations, and other public statements like attendance in Pride marches, hold no water unless they are backed by tangible action. If the LGBT community allows itself to be blinded by such public displays and fails to take those who make them to task in order to ensure that they practise what they preach, then this is all a waste of time.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on MaltaStar's website.]

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