Friday, 20 November 2009

Times: Josie Muscat's belittling of the gay community
Friday, 20th November 2009 by Bernard Muscat, Malta Gay Rights Movement, Mosta

In his bid to discredit the LGBT network created recently within the Labour Party, Josie Muscat (November 14) goes as low as to shamelessly place LGBT individuals and their struggle for equal rights on the same lines as "drug dealers" and "criminals", and the latters' claims to be but victims of society. His impudent association is shocking, cowardly, uncalled for and utterly disrespectful.

In his poor attempt to belittle the LGBT community in Malta, Dr Muscat seems unaware that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people occupy positions in all walks of life - from factory workers to teachers, from mechanics to academics, from lawyers to bus drivers, and indeed patients and members of staff in his own hospitals!

Somehow I am sure Dr Muscat has no qualms with LGBT patients receiving treatment in his hospitals - at a cost of course. Surprisingly, or not so much - given the barrage of unwelcome innuendos he uses in their regard - he is however firmly against LGBT individuals' rights to equal citizenship in a free and democratic society. It seems that his pledge to safeguard Maltese people's rights at European level, as he repeatedly stated was his intention before the MEP elections last May, was nothing more than a cheap electoral ploy. Or at least, his vision of the Maltese people clearly excluded any citizens who may be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Another major blunder Dr Muscat eases himself into is his mention of the "Diverse Families, Same Love" poster campaign organised by the Malta Gay Rights Movement in occurrence of the successful ILGA-Europe 2009 Conference held in Malta in the last week of October. The bus-shelter campaign ran a series of posters showing different family forms, reminding the public of the diverse relationships in today's society and the importance of equal treatment for all family forms. Dr Muscat erroneously announced that the "propaganda [was] paid by taxpayers' money..." The campaign was in fact carried out in Malta by means of funding received by ILGA-Europe. Dr Muscat can put his mind at rest that no taxes of his were used to finance it.

As Dr Muscat's opinion article title ran, Pandora's Box is indeed opening. What is leaping out of it is dangerous and unwelcome rhetoric based on prejudice and misguided facts. If this is what AN has to offer the Maltese public, perhaps the Box had better remain securely fastened.

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

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