Wednesday, 28 October 2009

ILGA: President of Malta highlights the importance of love and condemns discrimination during a meeting with representatives of ILGA-Europe

MEDIA RELEASE: For immediate release
27 October 2009

Today, representatives of ILGA-Europe¹s executive board and staff met with His Excellency Dr George Abela, President of Malta. This meeting was facilitated by Malta Gay Rights Movement who is a co-host of the 13th ILGA-Europe¹s annual conference taking place this week in Malta.

During the meeting Dr George Abela highlighted the importance of information and education in tackling discrimination and increasing tolerance and acceptance of differences. He said there is definitely a progress in Malta regarding greater acceptance of people with minority sexual orientation.

Dr Abela, who became a President of Malta 6 months ago, also made a reference to his inaugural speech when he stressed the importance of inclusiveness and condemned discrimination. He said he had LGBT people specifically in mind when referring to minorities and various families during his inaugural speech.

President Abela stressed the important of anti-discrimination legislation in employment and agreed that Malta EU membership is a positive factor contributing towards greater debate on diversity and acceptance.

When asked to reflect on the theme of ILGA-Europe¹s conference in Malta ³Overcoming Cultural and Religious Barriers to LGBT Equality², President Abela said he believes love is the most important virtue and value and cannot be graded depending on sexual orientation.

The meeting took place in the presidential palace in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. This is the first time a head of state meets representatives of ILGA-Europe during its annual conference.

Group picture from that meeting will be available later. If you require such image, please e-mail your request to


For more information please contact
Juris Lavrikovs at + 32 496 708 375

Notes for editors:

(1) ILGA-Europe is the European Region of ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association and works for equality and human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans & intersex people in Europe:

(2) More information about the Annual Conference in Malta is available on our website:

(3) This conference is organised in partnership with Malta Gay Rights

(4) Regular updates from the Annual Conference will be posted on our website and facebook page:

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