Thursday, 29 October 2009

Independent: Largest European LGBT conference being held in Malta
29.10.9 by Elaine Attard

Around 300 persons from all over Europe and North African and Asian countries are participating in the ILGA-Europe conference being held in Malta, the largest ever held.

ILGA-Europe is the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association and works for equality and human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people in Europe.

The Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM) is acting as the co-host of the event taking place at the Corinthia Marina Hotel, St George’s Bay, St Julian’s.

Along with the opening of the conference yesterday, MGRM launched an MGRM bus-shelter poster campaign funded by ILGA-Europe. The ILGA posters, which were translated into Maltese, portray different family styles. The aim of the campaign is to raise the profile of same-sex couples in Malta. The posters highlight the challenges which LGBT families and their children face due to the lack of legal recognition. The posters also highlight some positive development at European level towards legal recognition and acceptance of LGBT families and their children. The posters have already been displayed in various European countries.

MGRM spokesperson Bernard Muscat said the movement believes it is high time for Malta to stop ignoring the presence of same-sex families in Malta as if these did not exist and did not contribute to Maltese society in the same way opposite-sex couples do.

The ILGA-Europe conference is held every two years. MGRM had won the bid to hold this year’s conference titled “Overcoming Cultural Barriers to LGBT Equality” in Malta two years ago.

The conference will include a variety of plenary sessions and workshops to cover the human rights context. The content will cover in depth issues of culture, education, employment, social inclusion, religion, parenting and transgender issues.

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