Tuesday, 31 March 2009

ILGA: EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency launches second part of its Report on Homophobia and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in EU

31.3.9

L-Aġenzija tal-Unjoni Ewropea għad-Drittijiet Fundamentali illum varat ir-rapport tagħha dwar is-sitwazzjoni soċjali tal-persuni LGBT fl-Ewropa.

Stqarrija għall-istampa bil-Malti

http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/attachments/MR_hdgso_part2_mt.pdf

Media release in English

http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/attachments/MR_hdgso_part2_en.pdf

Aktar informazzjoni:

http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/press/mr-310309_en.htm

Is-sena li għaddiet l-Agenzija kienet ippublikat l-ewwel parti tar-rapport dwar is-sitwazzjoni legali. Ir-rapport dwar is-sitwazzjoni legali f’Malta jinsab hawn:

http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/attachments/FRA-hdgso-NR_MT.pdf

ILGA-Europe MEDIA RELEASE

EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency launches second part of its Report on Homophobia and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in the EU

Today the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) launches its Report on Homophobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the EU Member States, Part II: The Social Situation.

ILGA-Europe welcomes the Report which is the most comprehensive report on the legal and social situation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the EU to date. We particularly welcome the set of opinions and recommendations which we believe lay down excellent road map for EU institutions and EU Member States on the actions that need to be taken in order to tackle discrimination and prejudice against LGBT people both at EU and national levels.

This report confirms the worrying situation with regards to hate crime and hate speech against LGBT people in the EU. The high numbers of bullying at schools and deadly assaults on transgender people are of particular concern. The underreporting of homophobic and transphobic crimes and the police inadequacies dealing with such crimes is another serious problem. Only 12 EU member States introduced provisions making it a criminal offence to incite to hatred, violence and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.

Another worrying trend is widespread of bullying and harassment of LGBT people in educational institutions across the EU which negatively affect performance and well-being of individuals. The report notices how little attention is paid to this particular problem by schools authorities in the EU.

The Report points out mobilisation and organised lobbying against improvements of the rights of LGBT people by religion organisations in various EU Member States.

The Reports also finds that transgender people are systematically discriminated against in all areas investigated by this report. ILGA-Europe is also particularly concerned with the findings on attitudes towards transgender people. The Reports shows that attitudes towards transgender people are significantly more severe than negative attitudes towards LGB people and therefore require a targeted response.

Dirk De Meirleir, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, said:

“We are very pleased with this important research conducted by the Fundamental Rights Agency. This is the first time the EU institution investigates the extent of discrimination and prejudice LGBT people experience across the European Union in such great details.

Given the worrying picture that this report provides, we hope its conclusions and recommendations will be taken seriously by the EU institutions and EU Member States. The Report is an excellent aid to the institutions and national governments to send homophobia and transphobia to the history books. It is in their powers, what is needed is a political will. ILGA-Europe will provide all its support and expertise to support the European Union and its Member States in this important work.”

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For more information please contact
Juris Lavrikovs at + 32 2 609 54 16 / + 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: http://www.ilga-europe.org/

(2) The full report is available on http://fra.europa.eu/

(3) Background to the report: In June 2007 the European Parliament asked FRA to develop a comparative report on homophobia and sexual orientation discrimination in the EU Member States to assist the European Parliament’s LIBE committee in its deliberations concerning the need for a Directive covering all grounds of discrimination. In response, the FRA launched this project composed of two parts. The first part, published in June 2008, contains a comparative legal analysis of the situation in the EU Member States: www.fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/products/publications_reports/pub_cr_homophobia_0608_en.htm

Tislijiet,

Silvan Agius
Policy & Programmes Officer

ILGA-Europe aisbl

The European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA)
rue Belliard straat 12
Brussels B-1040
Belgium
tel.: + 32 2 609 54 17
fax: + 32 2 609 54 19
www.ilga-europe.org

Equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people in Europe



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Click here to view related information about the report: http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/products/publications_reports/pub_cr_homophobia_p2_0309_en.htm
Click on the pdf icon at the bottom of the page to view the complete report.

See report here:
http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/attachments/FRA-hdgso-part2-NR_MT.pdf

Saturday, 28 March 2009

MaltaStar: Am I bothered? Yes, I am.

http://maltastar.com/pages/ms09dart.asp?a=646
27.3.9 by Sandro Mangion

As 6 June draws closer and the European Parliament election campaigns gather momentum, I wonder how many of the candidates will be courageous enough to endorse a ten-point pledge that will soon be presented to them.

The Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM), the voice of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people on the island, will in the coming weeks be inviting all aspirant MEPs to declare that, if elected, they will promote equality and combat discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. This is part of a Europe-wide campaign, entitled ‘Be Bothered. Vote for a Human Rights Friendly European Parliament’ which was launched yesterday (Wednesday, 25 March) by the Brussels-based European branch of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA-Europe).

Approaching candidates in the run up to general or EP elections so as to ensure that the LGBT community’s choice at the polls is an informed one is not new to MGRM. During the last few election campaigns, questionnaires have been sent out to candidates with the aim of obtaining their views vis-à-vis matters concerning LGBT. Of course, in the Maltese political context, getting candidates to sign a pledge or declare their position for equality and non-discrimination is in itself no guarantee that they would in fact be pro-active on these issues once they clinch power. Our politicians have got used to being allowed to get away with murder by an apathetic electorate. That is why MGRM should not merely content itself with candidates’ endorsement of the pledge. After their election to the EP, it should continue monitoring their performance on a regular basis and making its observations public.

The ideal situation would be that of having as many candidates and political parties as possible commit themselves to building an inclusive society as a result of their genuine convinction that this is the right thing to do. However, the currency used in the political game is called votes and, if it does want to speed up the process of change, the gay lobby must convince politicians that the pink vote is really worth investing in. If well organised and intelligently mobilised, the gay vote would be an extremely valuable card in the LGBT community's hands. Due to the huge number of LGBTs who, for various reasons, remain in the closet, it is hard to determinate the precise voting power of LGBTs. However, it is estimated to be somewhere around or over 5% of the total electorate, and that's quite something in a country where a few hundred votes are enough to tip the balance in favour of one candidate or another.

No stone should be left unturned in the gay lobby’s bid to rally LGBT voters on 6 June, and to ensure that their vote goes to those candidates who are sincerely committed to the promotion of human rights and equality. For LGBT people, this is not a power game. It’s a much needed response to a dire need for change. Citizens of this democratic European country, whilst being required to fulfil their obligations to the State just like any other citizen are in turn still denied their fundamental human rights simply because their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression is different to that of the majority. I read on Maltese media that gays are still being made to pay higher life insurance premiums. Life-long same-sex partners of a dying person may still be denied the right to be at their loved one’s bedside in hospital as he/she is not considered his/her next of kin. Maltese gays and lesbians who marry their same-sex partners in more inclusive EU countries remain "exiled" there unless they are willing to accept their marriage being automatically declared null should they decide to return to Malta as a couple. Three cheers to freedom of movement. One could go on ad nauseam.

Let us wait and see which candidates will endorse the ten-point pledge. This will be far from a private meeting with MGRM behind closed doors, or from a small-print, vaguely-written declaration on some website, which would enable candidates to court the pink vote while taking the appropriate safeguards not to ruffle the feathers of pro-discrimination supporters. It will be a declaration which the MGRM will undoubtedly publicise. The signatories' names will be placed on an interactive map of the EU on ILGA-Europe's website. It’s time for candidates, or political parties where candidates are bound by party discipline not to make individual promises, to stand up and be counted.

For further information on the ten-point pledge click

http://www.ilga-europe.org/europe/campaigns_projects/ep2009/ilga_europe_s_european_parliament_elections_pledge

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Times: 'Commision should fight sexual orientation discrimination'

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20090326/local/commision-should-fight-sexual-orientation-discrimination/
Thursday, 26th March 2009

Serious human problems were being created because of discrimination against people of a different sexual orientation, and the longer it took to address the problem, the more people would suffer, Labour MP Evarist Bartolo said.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday during the debate to amend the Equality for Men and Women Act, Mr Bartolo said he agreed with the amendments proposed but felt that these should be complemented with others tackling discrimination in other sectors.

The National Commission for the Promotion of Equality should, for example, start covering the discrimination of persons with a different sexual orientation.

This should not be a controversial matter because in February last year the major parties, including the PN, had committed themselves with the Malta Gay Rights Movements (MGRM) to tackle the issue. But this was not being covered by the amendments being debated.

Mr Bartolo said that according to a Eurobarometer survey, wide discrimination against gays, lesbians and transgender people existed in Malta together with discrimination based on ethnicity.

Studies by the MGRM found that 10 per cent of gays suffered family or police violence because of their sexual orientation. They also mentioned bullying in schools, and that 40 per cent suffered sexual harassment and discrimination. Many others were afraid to speak up.

Mr Bartolo said there were instances of young people committing suicide due to the discrimination they suffered because they were gay. The political class had the duty to help mitigate the suffering of these people.

They had to be treated as humans and there had to be the political will for this situation to be tackled. The government should keep its word to change the law and give them the required protection.

Mr Bartolo spoke on other kinds of discrimination suffered, including because of one's religion and because of disability. The disabled, he said, were sometimes seen as people who deserved charity, rather than equals.

He pointed out that whatever happened to the problem of illegal migration in future, children had to learn to live in a world where diversity was the norm. But very little was being done in this sector.

Mr Bartolo noted that when it came to children, a lot of emphasis was made on their rights, but not so much on duties.

Carmelo Abela (PL) referred to the NCPE report and said the main challenge was to translate laws into reality through enforcement and culture change.

He said Labour governments had been the first to enact laws and to practise equality. Men and women had the same capabilities but were also complementary to each other. One had to change mentalities and use the proper language in both public and private sectors.

Family responsibility had to be shared by both husband and wife. Work patterns had to change. The family needed support so that certain measures would not cause hardship. Weight had to be given to the impact that certain measures had on the family. Childcare centres had to give effective service to children and had to be affordable for working parents.

Mr Abela said that the commissioner mentioned the difficulties which existed on gender issues. The number of women who were gainfully occupied stood at 31 per cent. There were other working women not statistically covered. He said women employed on small projects should not have to face heavy bureaucratic procedures. The number of female graduates was not reflected in the world of work, with female employees in the education sector amounting to 63 per cent. Up to 52 per cent of those engaged in social work were women.

Labour MP Anġlu Farrugia stressed the need to remove all loopholes to stop discrimination. There had been instances in the past where employers had chosen men over more qualified women. This could not be done, according to an EU directive.

Dr Farrugia said there was a lot of discrimination against people in part-time jobs. These people should know they were entitled to pro-rata benefits, including leave, sick leave and public holidays.

People who did not agree with the commission's decisions could challenge them in a court of law. Besides the commission, the industrial tribunal also had the competence to decide on cases of workers seeking a remedy against their employers. This was a positive development.

Dr Farrugia said that the industrial tribunal had to protect women who had the courage to fight discrimination at the place of work.

Winding up the debate, Social Policy Minister John Dalli said the amendments were significant because they strengthened initiatives against gender discrimination.

The NCPE report declared and listed the sectors where gender discrimination was still present. This showed the independence of the commission, which he said was the Maltese conscience on this issue.

The NCPE implemented a number of programmes to promote equal opportunities. It was fulfilling its function and was praised also by the opposition. When considering reaching European averages one had to safeguard local values and traditions which strengthened society.

Mr Dalli said the government was striving to ensure that all childcare centres were registered. The employment participation rate was positive among young women and those of child-bearing age.

The Bill envisaged that proof of indirect discrimination did not necessarily have to be based on statistics, and the fact that the members of the commission were appointed by the government did not imply that it was imposing its will.

The Bill was unanimously approved. The House then moved on to debate and unanimously approve a consequential amendment to the Employment and Industrial Relations Act. This makes it binding on the chairman of an industrial tribunal investigating a complaint of discrimination to grant compensation if the complaint was proved.

The speakers were Jean Pierre Farrugia (PN), Gino Cauchi and Owen Bonnici (PL). Mr Dalli moved and wound up the debate. Both Bills were also approved from committee stage.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments.]

Times: Youth forum's praiseworthy initiative

Thursday, 26th March 2009 by Albert Gauci Cunningham, Buġibba
26.3.9

I would like to heartily congratulate and support the FŻL (Forum Żgħażagh Laburisti) for the creation of an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) network within the forum itself, which comes after it had supported Joanne Micallef, a transexual, over her argument on the right to marry late last year.
This is not only another sign of a political party opening its doors to minorities in this country but also a positive step towards equal rights, tolerance and a healthier democracy.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments.]

It-Torċa: Fr. Colin Apap: X’jagħmel single parent għal uliedu... għaliex il-gays ma jistgħux jadottaw?

[Dan l-artiklu mhux fuq is-sit tat-Torċa s'issa.]
22.3.9

Single mothers, is-sess u l-edukazzjoni

Għażiż Fr Colin,

Qrajt l-artiklu tiegħek fejn ktibt dwar is-single mothers u kif dawn irabbu lil uliedhom. Inħossni urtata ħafna għax jiena single mother għax missier it-tifel abbandunah wara li ġabu fid-dinja. Inti ktibt li tfal li jitrabbew minn ġenitur wieħed jibdew il-ħajja bi żvantaġġ. Nista’ niżgurak
li jiena lil ibni rajbejtu bl-akbar għożża, nagħmel minn kollox għalih u ma jonqsu xejn.
Tista’ tgħidli għaliex tfal li jitrabbew minn ġenitur wieħed ikollhom problemi fl-edukazzjoni tagħhom? Għaliex ikollhom problema għall-orjentazzjoni sesswali tagħhom? Jiena ngħallmu kull ma naf u nista’ niżgurak li qed jitrabba normalissimu.

Jien lil ibni fuq l-altar għammidtu u ħadd ma sabli problema kif qiegħda nrabbi. Jiena nħoss li meta wieħed jikkritika lis-single mothers ikun qed jagħmel inġustizzja mal-omm u mat-tfal stess. Alla biss jaf x’sagrifiċċji nagħmlu għal uliedna. Ngħixu għalihom u għalihom biss ħafna drabi ninsew lilna nfusna biex narawhom kuntenti u jkollhom l-aħjar edukazzjoni. Ma tistax tiġbed riga waħda għal kulħadd. Nitolbok tiskuża ruħek mas-single mothers jew inkella fisser aħjar x’ridt tgħid għax jista’ jkun hemm min jifhem li allura għandna niddiskriminaw mat-tfal li ġejjin minn single parents. Min jaqra l-artiklu tiegħek jista’ jaħseb li għandu jitratta lit-tfal tagħna b’mod differenti minn ta’ ħaddieħor. Mhux sewwa li ktibt li tfal ta’ single parents ikollhom diffikultajiet ikbar fl-edukazzjjoni tagħhom u li din teffettwa s-sesswalità u l-orjentazzjoni sessali tagħhom.
Il-problema tas-single mothers hija li qiegħda ssir inġustizzja magħhom għax m’għandhom protezzjoni minn ħadd. Aħjar titlob għall-vokazzjonijiet milli tikteb dwar dawn l-ommijiet li jridu
jrabbu t-tfal weħidhom u minflok li tikkritikana jkun aħjar li tgħid lill-irġiel ikunu responsabbli għal dak li jagħmlu.

Single Mother
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X’jagħmel single parent għal uliedu... għaliex il-gays ma jistgħux jadottaw?

Naħseb li hemm differenza meta l-ulied jitrabbew minn missier u omm flimkien jew jitrabbew minn omm biss jew missier biss.

Naħseb li hemm atmosfera differenti fid-dar fejn jitrabbew uliedna fejn il-missier u l-omm flimkien huma preżenti l-ħin kollu ma’ uliedhom: jilagħbu t-tnejn magħhom, jitkellmu magħhom, jieklu magħhom, jagħmlu l-homework flimkien magħhom, jiċċelebraw il-birthdays flimkien bħala familja waħda. Ma naħsibx li min ma jitrabbiex b’dal-mod se jħossu l-istess. Ma jfissirx li hu tort tiegħu jew tort ta’ ommu u missieru.

Jista’ jkun li tifel jew tifla titrabba minn ġenitur wieħed għal bosta raġunijiet. Jew għax il-ġenitur ikun miet. Jew għax isiefer fit-tul. Jew għax telaq u ħadd ma jaf x’sar minnu. Jew għax żbalja u spiċċa l-ħabs għal żmien twil. Jew għax marad...

Dawn huma kollha raġunijiet li jġiegħlu t-tfal jgħixu t-tfulija tagħhom nieqsa minn xi ħadd mill-ġenituri. Mhuwiex l-istess daqs li kieku l-ġenituri huma t-tnejn preżenti. Hawn min hu single mother għax għażel li jkun single mother. Hawn min welled tarbija mingħajr ma kien qed jistenna; inħasad meta sar jaf li sar missier jew omm. Hawn min ikun jistenna lit-tarbija li titwieled u hawn min jisħet il-mument li se titwieled. Mhumiex l-istess. Tarbija, anki qabel ma titwieled, tkun taf jekk hix aċċettata jew le. Tħoss jekk ġietx fid-dinja bi żball jew għax kienet mixtieqa.

Iva, hemm differenza bejn min jgħix ma’ ommu u mis--sieru flimkien, f’atmosfera ta’ familja "normali" u dawk li - qatt mhu tort tat-tfal isaqsu fejn hi ommhom jew fejn hu missierhom u jingħataw balla gideb. Mhux l-istess meta jmorru l-iskola u għandhom lil wieħed mill-ġenitur iwassalhom, ikun preżenti waqt xi school party, waqt il-gradwazzjoni jew xi premju u dawk li qatt ma jaraw lil missierhom preżenti f’xejn.

Hemm differenza preżenza ta’ missier ħdejn uliedu u dawk li mhux tort tagħhom dejjem man-nanna jew nannu jew ommhom moħħha fil-karriera, fix-xogħol u qatt ma jkunu fil-ħajja ta’ uliedhom.

Mhux l-istess fil-klassi meta l-għalliem/a jgħidu lit-tfal jiktbu father’s card, jew mother’s card jew birthday card lil omm u l-missier, jew jiktbu xi essay dwar "il-familja tiegħi" u t-tfal ma jafux x’se jiktbu dwar missierhom li qatt ma raw jew qatt ma kien preżenti.

Jiena rajt u qrajt kartolini ta’ tfal li ma qalulhomx dwar missierhom u sibthom tfal li jitħawdu. Ma jafux x’se jwieġbu għaz-zikar ta’ sħabhom fl-iskola.

Ma jfissirx li min għandu ommu u missier ma jkollux il-problemi tiegħu. Ma jfissirx li min hu miżżewweġ jaf irabbi u jeduka. Ma jfissirx li missier jew omm isibu rapport ma’ uliedhom u jgħinuhom jikbru u jagħtuhom dik is-sikurezza li t-tfal għandhom bżonn.

Dwar l-orjentament sesswali: dan jikber fit-tfal meta jidentifikaw lilhom infushom jew mal-omm jew mal-missier. Jew għall-inqas ma’ membru tal-familja jew persuna influwenti f’ħajjithom (in-nannu, it-teacher - xi ħadd mill-"extended family" xi ħadd li huwa "the significant other".

Meta dawn ikunu neqsin, mhux bil-fors tort tagħhom, it-tifel jew it-tifla ma’ min iridu jidentifikaw lilhom infushom? Mal-omm biss? Mal-missier biss? Jekk it-tfal subien ma jarawx kif tkun l-imġiba tar-raġel fid-dar m’hemmx iktar ċans li jidentifikaw lilhom infushom biss mar-rowl femminili ta’ ommhom?

Għalhekk jiena kontra li l-omosesswali jingħataw it-trobbija jew l-edukazzjoni esklussiva tat-tfal. Jiena kontra li anki jekk l-Istat xi darba jagħti rikonoxximent lill-koppji omosesswali xorta waħda ma naqbilx li dawn għandhom jingħataw tfal biex irabbuhom. Qed ngħid hekk mhux għax l-omosesswali jistgħu jabbużaw mit-tfal. Il-maġġoranza tal-istudji xjentifiċi li qrajt ma jsemmu ebda konnessjoni bejn omosesswalità u pedofilja. Hija gidba min jipprova jħammeġ lill-omosesswali b’dal-mod. L-abbużi fuq it-tfal ħafna drabi jsiru minn membri tal-familja jew minn "kbar" li t-tfal għandhom fiduċja fihom. Ma naqbilx li tnejn omosesswali waqt li għandhom ikollhom kull dritt legali li jirregolaw ir-relazzjoni ta’ bejniethom quddiem l-Istat għandhom jingħataw it-tfal għall-adozzjoni jew biex irabbuhom jew bħala fostering.

Jidhirli li f’Malta anki dawk li qiegħdin ifittxu ġustament id-drittijiet tal-gays, ma jistennewx mill-Istat id-dritt tal-adozzjoni. Ma nafx li xi għaqda rikonoxxuta qiegħda titlob dan. Anzi l-mexxejja tal-Moviment Gay f’Malta qaluli li din mhix fuq l-aġenda tagħhom. Ir-raġuni ewlenijia hija li t-tfal għandhom bżonn ta’ identifikazzjoni ma’ xi ħadd: l-omm jew il-missier.

Jekk jgħixu biss ma’ nies tal-istess sess allura faċli li l-orjentament sesswali tagħhom jieħu direzzjoni waħda biss.


Dan ma jfissirx li m’hawnx single mother u single father li jrabbu lil uliedhom verament tajjeb, maturi, responsabbli. Ħafna single parents li naf huma ta’ eżempju eċċellenti ta’ mħabba, sens ta’ sagrifiċċju, dedikazzjoni enormi, li jagħtu sense of security verament qawwi.

Huwa proprju minħabba d-diffikultajiet fl-edukazzjoni sħiħa ta’ uliedna li dawn is-single parents huma l-qaddisin u l-eroj ta’ żmienna. Minkejja elf problema u diffikultà jirnexxilhom jagħmlu l-ikbar suċċess minn uliedhom li jkabbruhom ċittadini onesti u responsabbli, maturi biżżejjed li jikbru u jibnu familja tassew sabiħa mimlija b’dik l-istess imħabba li ommhom jew
missierhom tahom biex rabbewhom weħidhom.

Fr. Colin Apap

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Nota minn P. Attard: Huwa interessanti ħafna li Fr. Colin jaqbel li r-relazzjonijiet ta'  nies gay għandhom jiġu rikonoxxuti mill-Istat.

Rigward adozzjoni ta' tfal, jien ma nafx minn fejn ġab l-informazjoni Fr. Colin, iżda l-istudji ta' l-American Psychological Association ma jurux l-istess konklużjonijiet:

Ara rapport hawnPDF version. [Section: Parenting of Children].

Monday, 23 March 2009

Leħen is-Sewwa 1973: Ittra Pastorali kontra d-Dekriminalazzjoni ta' l-Omosesswalità

Ippublikata fil-Ġurnal Leħen is-Sewwa tas-Sibt 6 ta' Jannar 1973
Ittra maħruġa fil-31 ta' Diċembru 1972 fil-Festa tas-Sagra Familja mill-
Arċisqof Michael Gonzi, President tal-Konferenza Episkopali Maltija
Emmanuel Gerada, Isqof Koadjutur ta' Malta
Nicholas Cauchi, Isqof t'Għawdex
Emmanuel Galea, Isqof Awżiljarju ta' Malta
[Ikklikja fuq l-istampa biex tkun tista' taqra l-ittra.]

















































English: Pastoral Letter issued on the 31st December 1972 by the Maltese Bishops condemning the decriminalisation of homosexuality.


P. Attard's Note: Homosexuality was decriminalised in Malta on the 29th January 1973 by the Prime Minister Dom Mintoff. If you have any articles which were published in the newspapers relating to the decriminalisation or any transcripts of public speeches, and the resistance from the Catholic Church, I would be very glad if you could send them to me so I can post them on this blog. Thank You.

Transcript of the Pastoral Letter scanned above to enable text-searches in Search-Engines and translation to other languages (see Google Translate in side-bar). I would like to thank Steve for the transcript:

PASTORALI TA’ L-ISQFIJIET

(kif dehret fil-Leħen is-Sewwa tas-Sibt, 6 ta’ Jannar 1973)

Għeżież Ħutna u Maħbubin Uliedna,

Fl-okkażjoni tal-pubblikazzjoni ta’ l-Abbozz tal-Liġi dwar it-tneħħija tal-piena kriminali għall-atti ta’ l-Adulterju u ta’ Omosesswalità, aħna Isqfijiet miġbura f’Konferenza Episkopali ħassejna li għandna nsemmu leħinna biex ngħallmu l-fidili l-implikazzjonijiet li l-abolizzjoni ta’ din il-piena jista’ jkollha, anki indirettament, fuq il-ħajja morali ta’ pajjiżna. L-Isqfijiet bħala rgħajja tal-merħla fdata lilhom minn Kristu, għandhom id-dritt u d-dmir li jitkellmu fuq dan is-suġġett biex jilluminaw il-kuxjenzi tal-fidili tagħhom u jispjegaw li ma tbiddel xejn fl-aspett morali ta’ l-Adulterju u l-Omosesswalita’, anke jekk il-Gvern iddeċieda li jneħħi l-pieni annessi ma’ dawn l-atti mill-Kodiċi Kriminali ta’ pajjiżna.

Infatti l-Adulterju u l-Omosesswalità huma ksur gravi ta’ l-ordni morali mwaqqaf minn Alla biex jirregola l-imġieba sesswali fil-bniedem u miġbura fid-disa’ u fis-sitt kmandament tal-liġi t’Alla. Din il-verita’ hija mgħarrfa lill-bnedmin minn Alla nnifsu fil-Kotba Mqaddsa tal-Patt il-Qadim u tal-Patt il-Ġdid. Hekk p.e. fil-ktieb tad-Dewteronomju insibu miktub: “Jekk jinqabad raġel qiegħed ma’ mara miżżewġa, għandhom imutu t-tnejn; ir-raġel li kien qiegħed mal-mara u l-mara; u hekk teqred il-ħażen minn ġo Israel”. (Deut. 22, 22); fil-ktieb il-Levitiku 18, 22 insibu: “Ma’ raġel la timteddx bħal ma’ mara; hi ħaġa moqżieża”. Fl-Evanġelju ta’ San Ġwann insibu lil Ġesu’ jgħid lill-mara adultera: “Mur u minn issa tidnibx iktar”. (Ġwann, 1, 11). (Ara wkoll Levit. 20, 10; Prov. 6, 32; Ġak. 4.4; Kor. 6, 9; Ġen. 19. 4.8; Levit: 20, 4.5; Rum. 1, 26 – 27).

Għalhekk l-adulterju u l-omosesswalità minnhom infushom u indipendentament mill-liġi tal-bnedmin, kienu u għadhom dnubiet gravi.

Hija wkoll verità tal-Fidi nistranija li ż-żwieġ u l-familja kienu mfasslin minn Alla fil-pjan tiegħu għall-ħajja tal-bnedmin f’din id-dinja u kienu mqaddsin minn Kristu Feddej tagħna li għamel iż-żwieġ u l-imħabba bejn il-miżżewġin u l-imgħammdin Sagrament, iġifieri sinjal u sehem ta’ l-imħabba t’Alla għall-Poplu tiegħu u, għalhekk mezz għas-salvazzjoni u għall-ħajja ta’ dejjem.

Iż-żwieġ u l-familja huma s-sisien tas-soċjeta’, li s-saħħa morali tagħha hi marbuta mas-saħħa taż-żwieġ u tal-familja. Hu għalhekk li skond it-tagħlim nisrani, l-adulterju huwa disordni morali u soċjali gravi għaliex ixejjen l-fedelta’ fiż-żwieġ u r-rabta tal-familja kif ukoll is-safa u d-dinjita’ tal-imħabba tal-miżżewġin. Kien għalhekk li l-Konċilju Vatikan II fil-Kostituzzjoni, Il-Knisja fid-Dinja llum nru. 49 sejjaħ l-adulterju “profanazzjoni ta’ l-imħabba fidila bejn il-miżżewġin”.

It-tħassib tagħna flimkien ma’ dak ta’ kull min għandu għal qalbu s-saħħa morali tal-familja u tas-soċjeta’ Maltija jkompli jikber illum quddiem it-theddida serja lid-dinja minn dik li qed tissejjaħ il-kampanja jew fronti kontra l-familja li permezz tagħha pass wara l-ieħor qed tipprova ixxejjen l-istituzzjoni taż-żwieġ u l-familja.

Dwar l-omosesswalità, aħna ngħarfu, nifhmu u naqblu li min hu verament marid jeħtieġ kura u għajnuna u mhux kastig, ġaladabra llum ix-xjenzati huma tal-fehma li wħud mill-omosesswali huma nies morda jew mhux normali għal kollox. Inħossu wkoll li s-soċjetà ta’ pajjiżna għandha u trid li tibqa’ imħarsa kif jixraq permezz ta’ liġijiet ġusti minn kull ma jista’ jhedded iż-żwieġ, il-familja, l-imħabba fidila u xierqa li l-poplu Malti fil-maġġoranza kbira tiegħu għadu jqishom u jgħożżhom bħala valuri u wirt importanti u għalhekk, bħala sehem mhux żgħir mill-ġid komuni tas-soċjetà Maltija. Biex jintlaħqu sewwa dawn iż-żewġ skopijiet, jidhrilna li s-soċjeta’ Maltija għandha tħoss id-dmir li tipprovdi, permezz ta’ l-Awtorita’ pubblika, minn naħa l-waħda, servizz adegwat ta’ kura għall-mard ta’ anomaliji sesswali, u minn naħa l-oħra, ħarsien effiċjenti u ġust bil-liġi kontra kull xorta ta’ korruzzjoni, solliċitazzjoni, propaganda, pubbliċita’, assoċjazzjoni għall-finijiet omosesswali, kif titlob l-moralita’ pubblika.

Minn naħa tagħna ma nistgħux nagħmlu ħaġa oħra ħlief li nwissu lill-fidili tagħna biex iħarsu t-tradizzjonijiet li writna mingħand missirijietna u li bil-mod qed jonqsu. Nirrikmandaw lil kull min qiegħed f’pożizzjoni li bl-għemil tiegħu jinfluwenza deċiżjonijiet fuq dawn il-materji għandu dejjem jaġixxi fid-dawl tal-prinċipji morali nsara u tal-bżonnijiet soċjali tal-pajjiż. Fl-aħħarnett inħeġġu lil kulħadd biex jitlob u jaħdem ħalli l-familja Maltija tibqa’ dejjem mibnija fuq prinċipji nsara sodi u tieħu bħala mudell tagħha l-Familja qaddisa ta’ Nazareth.

Mogħti llum mill-Kurja Arċiveskovili ta’ Malta, 31 ta’ Diċembru 1972, Festa tas-Sagra Familja.

Michael Gonzi, Arċisqof ta’ Malta, President tal-Konferenza Episkopali Maltija
Emmanuel Gerada, Isqof Koadjutur ta’ Malta
Nicholas Cauchi, Isqof ta’ Għawdex
Emmanuel Galea, Isqof Awżiljarju ta’ Malta

Can. A. Bonnici, Segretarju tal-Konferenza Episkopali Maltija

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Ara wkoll:

YouTube: Snickers Kiss

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0oEz6FOnYY

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Telegraph: Homophobia: the forgotten hate crime - New report says that the abuse and violence suffered by lesbians and gay men is on the rise

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/homophobia-the-forgotten-hate-crime-1651326.html
Sunday, 22 March 2009 By Andrew Johnson

Michael Causer's only crime was to be openly gay. For this the trainee hairdresser was dragged from his bed last July and viciously beaten. His piercings were forcibly removed with a knife, according to some witnesses. He died nine days later in hospital from brain injuries.

Tomorrow James O'Connor, 19, will be sentenced after admitting the murder of the 18-year-old in Liverpool, in a case which, campaigners say, illustrates a rising and little-reported tide of homophobia in Britain.

New research to be published next week reveals widespread anecdotal evidence that gay and lesbian people experience severe daily harassment and abuse which they do not report to the police. The survey shows that, although society's attitude towards gay and lesbian people appears to be more tolerant, bubbling beneath the surface, and often unreported, is a stream of abuse and harassment.

Earlier this month, Gerald Edwards, 59, was stabbed to death in the home in Bromley, Kent, that he shared with his partner, Chris Bevan, who was seriously injured in what police believe was a homophobic attack.

Next week's report, published by the charity Galop, the Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence and Policing Group and the Metropolitan Police, found that homophobic hate crime is seriously under-reported, partly because of out-of-date contact numbers and addresses, but also because of fears of reprisals and a belief that the police don't take them seriously.

But those incidents that are reported to lesbian and gay groups can take place in daylight, often feature casual violence and verbal abuse, and frequently take the form of persistent bullying from neighbours. Researchers found that nearly half of all victims reporting to lesbian and gay organisations knew their aggressor.

Over a quarter of all incidents involved physical violence. Figures from the Met show that in the last year reported homophobic hate crime in London has risen by more than 5 per cent, from 1,008 to 1,062 incidents. London's gay and lesbian population is thought to stand at around 750,000.

National figures on homophobic incidents are not collected by the Home Office, however. A survey by Stonewall, the gay rights charity, published last year found that one in five gay people had been the victim of a hate crime in the last three years.

Stonewall also published a report earlier this month which revealed a "deeply alarming" amount of homophobia in schools. The report is the largest survey of both primary and secondary schoolteachers on the issue of homophobic bullying.

Called The Teachers' Report, it showed that around 150,000 pupils are affected by anti-gay bullying. Not only are children who are thought to be gay victims of name-calling and abuse, but pupils are picked out because they are boys who work hard or girls who play sport or because they have gay parents.

Nine in 10 secondary school teachers and two in five primary school teachers said pupils experience homophobic bullying, even if they are not gay.

Deborah Gold, chief executive of Galop, said: "Homophobic and transphobic crime is certainly not going down. Whether it's going up or whether there's increased reporting is hard to say. But it is as significant a problem as it always has been.

"On the face of it there's increased acceptance [of gay people], but when you look at homophobic bullying in schools or the abuse people face when they are leaving their homes from neighbours or kids shouting at them, it's a significant problem."

It-Torċa: Il-FŻL jiftaħ il-bieb għall-femministi u l-gays

[Dan l-artiklu mhux fuq il-website tat-Torċa s'issa]
22.3.9

[Scroll down for English version.]

Il-Forum Żgħażagħ Laburisti (FŻL) approva tibdil fl-istatut tiegħu fejn fost l-oħrajn waqqaf żewġ 'networks', il-Feminist Network u LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender) Network.

Daniel Micallef, President tal-FŻL fisser dan it-tibdil bħala messaġġ qawwi li l-għaqda trid tgħaddi għax temmen li kulħadd għandu jkollu drittijiet indaqs u għalhekk għandha l-obbligu li ssemma leħen dawn iż-żgħażagħ.

Emenda oħra li ġiet approvata kienet dik li l-fergħa t'Għawdex issa bdiet tiġi meqjusa bħala reġjun li tiġbor fiha l-lokalitajiet kollha t'Għawdex u għalhekk fl-Eżekuttiv tal-FŻL, dejjem se jkun hemm rappreżentant Għawdxi.

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http://www.maltastar.com/pages/ms09dart.asp?a=516
MaltaStar: Feminist and LGBT networks included in FZL statute

23 March 2009 10:16

The Labour Youth Forum (FZL) opened up its statute to include the feminist and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual network, in a general conference at the Labour Headquarters in Hamrun on 20 March.

Daniel, FZL President, said that unlike other political organisations for youth, the FZL believed in equal rights and in giving a voice to these networks.

He also made appeals for the youths of these networks to join the forum.

Further amendments included the inclusion of the FZL Gozo as a region which brings together all the localities of Gozo. Gozo's FZL branch also secured a representative in the organisation's national executive.

PL President Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi and Deputy Leader for the Party, Toni Abela, also attended the meeting.


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http://www.fzl.org.mt/stqarrija.aspx?Id=15
Il-‘feminist Network’ u l-‘LGBT Network’ fost l-inizzjattivi godda fl-Istatut tal-FZL

Waqt Laqgha Generali Straordinarja gewwa c-Centru Nazzjonali Laburista gie approvat tibdil fl-istatut tal-Forum Zghazagh Laburisti. Permezz ta’ dan it-tibdil fost l-ohrajn gew imwaqqfin zewg networks importanti fi hdan l-FZL, li huma l-‘Femminist Network’ u l-‘LGBT Network’. Dawn jigbru fi hdanhom zghazagh bi twemmin simili bl-ghan li jipproponu politika li tindirizza d-drittijiet ta’ interessi differenti fosthom tal-komunita’ gay.

Fi kliem il-President tal-FZL Daniel Micallef, it-tibdil li gie approvat illum huwa messagg qawwi li l-ghaqda trid tghaddi. “B’differenza minn haddiehor, ahna nemmnu li kulhadd ghandu jkollu drittijiet indaqs. Ghaldaqstant nemmnu li ghandna l-obbligu li nsemmghu lehen dawn iz-zghazagh u nindirizzaw il-htigijiet taghhom, fis-socjeta tallum.” Huwa appella wkoll ghal dawk iz-zghazagh li interessati jiffurmaw parti minn dawn in-networks, sabiex jinghaqdu mal-FZL.

Emendi ohrajn importanti approvati jinkludu l-fergha tal-FZL f’Ghawdex fejn issa din il-fergha giet meqjusa bhala regjun li tigbor fiha l-lokalitajiet kollha ta’ Ghawdex, filwaqt li bil-vot tallum, gie assigurat ukoll li Ghawdex ser ikollha dejjem rapprezentanza fl-Ezekuttiv tal-FZL.

Matul il-Laqgha Generali giet approvata wkoll mozzjoni mressqa mill-Ezekuttiv bit-titlu “Socjeta inklussiva, Socjeta b’sahhitha”. Din il-mozzjoni titratta l-hidma tal-FZL favur socjeta li ma tharisx lejn il-pozizzjoni finanzjarja jew it-twemmin izda lejn l-abbiltajiet tal-persuna.

Il-President Daniel Micallef, f’diskors fi tmiem il-laqgha fakkar ukoll fit-tibdil li sar fl-istatut tal-Partit Laburista f’Novembru li ghadda u fil-kisba importanti li ghamlu z-zghazagh matul dik il-Konferenza Generali hekk kif assiguraw rapprezentanza ikbar fil-partit. Micallef sostna li t-tibdil fl-istatut tal-FZL huma konformi ma’ dak li sar mill-PL sabiex il-hidma tkun aktar effettiva u l-kordinazzjoni tkun aktar b’sahhitha.

Matul il-Laqgha li ghaliha attendew il-membri tal-FZL, indirizzaw ukoll lil dawk prezenti l-President tal-PL Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi u d-Deputat Mexxej ghall-Affarijiet tal-Partit, Toni Abela, li filwaqt li awguraw lill-ezekuttiv tal-FZL ghall-hidma tieghu, tkelmu dwar l-isfidi li ghandhom iz-zghazagh illum il-gurnata u dwar is-sehem li dawn ghandhom fit-tfassil tal-politika tal-PL ghall-pajjiz.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Times: What values held by MEP candidates?

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20090321/letters/what-values-held-by-mep-candidates/
Saturday, 21st March 2009 by Henry S. Pace, Sliema

I fully agree with Jacqueline Calleja (March 17) regarding the prospective candidates for the European Parliament elections. The country should clearly know their stands on moral issues. MEPs elected five years ago recently voted in favour of amendments recognising the need of laws on cohabitation, including gay couples and same-sex marriages performed in other member states. [see related letter here.]

None of them will get my vote once they took such a stand in the European Parliament.
I do suggest that journalists and media presenters should ask relevant questions on the moral values of the respective candidates. It's the only way that the electorate would clearly know their actual positions.

Europe is becoming a Godless continent and our country should stand up to be counted whenever the need arises and should lead in different European/world fora with the true Christian values.

Allow me to borrow from the concluding homily of Pope John Paul II at the Beatification of Blessed St Ġorġ Preca, Nazju Falzon and Adeodata Pisani at the Floriana Granaries on May 9, 2001 where he told the people of Malta: "Malta, Malta! You have received so much through the ministry of Saint Paul and the witness of Blessed Dun Ġorġ, Blessed Nazju Falzon and Blessed Adeodata Pisani. As you move into the future, be faithful to the legacy they have left! Follow Christ with undivided heart and never be afraid to speak up for the truth that saves and the values that lead to life! May the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Word Incarnate, accompany and protect you always, so that you will never fail to 'give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds'." (Ps 107:15).

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments.]

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

EU Observer: Anti-discrimination bill approved by civil liberties committee

http://euobserver.com/9/27786?print=1
17.03.2009 @ 09:17 CET by LEIGH PHILLIPS

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - A bill banning discrimination against people on the basis of age, disability, sexual orientation, belief or religion in the areas of education, social security, health care and goods and services including housing has been approved by the European Parliament's civil liberties committee.

Gay people in Poland cannot be refused an appartment, if the bill passes (Photo: Stockholm Pride, Kari Lind)

In a 34-to-seven vote, with four abstentions, the law, a directive proposed by the European Commission last July, was endorsed by the MEPs.

Since 2000, the European Union has prohibited these forms of discrimination at work, but legal protection in the realms of public services, buying products or making use of commercial services was not covered.

The new legislation brings bans on these forms of discrimination in line with existing laws against racial or ethnic prejudice and on assuring equal treatment of men and women.

The deputies underlined that the bill covers both health care and transport, but agreed that transactions between private individuals that are not commercial or professional are to be excluded from anti-discrimination protection.

The bill will not affect national legislation on marriage or family law and the deputies insisted that the EU member states remain responsible for educational content.

The directive will have no affect on domestic legislation on the "secular character of the state" - a reference to French laws banning religious attire, including headscarves, from schools.

The changes also do not prevent governments from offering positive discrimination or beneficial quotas to groups in society that have historically been marginalised.

For handicapped individuals, enterprises and other organisations are expected to provide reasonable accomodation to their needs. Any measures however should not result in disproportionate costs - a key worry of small businesses - or fundamentally modify the nature of the goods or services in question.

Handicaps and age can still be taken into account by insurance companies or banks, as this is not considered discrimination, but a requirement of the determination of risk.

The bill also will not be a bonanza for youngsters who might have thought guns, beer and cars will now be as much at their disposal as they are for grown-ups. Age restrictions for such products are to remain acceptable.

They can console themselves in the knowledge that youth cards - and their retiree equivalents - for museums, swimming pools, buses and the like will still be permitted.

A vote of the full sitting of the parliament is expected on 1 or 2 April.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

That’s Not Religious Freedom

http://www.slapupsidethehead.com/2009/03/thats-not-religious-freedom/
9.3.9 by Mark




































David Popescu, the crazy fringe candidate from Sudbury [Canada] who declared that all gays should be killed during a federal election debate, has been charged by the Greater Sudbury Police Service for two counts of the wilful promotion of violence and hatred toward an identifiable group.

Canada outlaws speech that promotes violence or hatred toward minority groups through section 319(2) of the Criminal Code. Despite this, Popescu has only stood by his remarks, saying that his promotion of LGBT genocide is protected by his freedom of religious expression. (Maybe he skipped over the “Thou shalt not kill” bits?)

Already, some right-wing commentators have leapt to Popescu’s defense, claiming that his prosecution is just an example of the oppression and intolerance that Christians are currently facing.

Sigh… Let’s just get this out there, shall we?

Reporting a death threat is not opression or intolerance; investigating a death threat is not oppression or intolerance; charging and prosecuting those who utter death threats is not oppression or intolerance. I will not accept that threatening an entire group of people with death is OK because one interprets their religious texts as such. In fact, I don’t believe that resistance to any of the harmful, hateful messages often repeated by those shielding themselves behind religious texts is oppression or intolerance. Tolerance has never meant submission into being treated as inferior and unworthy of human dignities.

So, to those who seriously believe it’s intolerant for gays to resist being told we are lesser, that we shouldn’t ask for or deserve equal rights, or that we simply write off a call for our death as a religious freedom: Suh-lap!

Popescu charged for comments on gays [Sudbury Star]
Anti-gay views land fringe candidate in hot water [Daily Press]

Times: MEP's moral positions

Tuesday, 17th March 2009 by Jacqueline Calleja, Balzan

With the elections for the European Parliament fast approaching, it is important for Catholics in this country to know clearly what the stand about certain issues (abortion, euthanasia, same-sex partnerships, embryonic stem-cell research etc.) will be taken by our prospective candidates in the eventuality of their being elected. If no such clarification is forthcoming voters will be free to draw their own conclusions and vote accordingly.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments.]

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

YouTube: "Fidelity": Don't Divorce... (by Courage Campaign w/ Regina Spektor)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-awVQkTeVE


http://www.couragecampaign.org/page/s/divorce

"Fidelity": Watch the video viewed by over 1 million people on Vimeo and YouTube, then sign our letter. Join over 350,000 people who have signed this letter telling the state Supreme Court to invalidate Prop 8, reject Ken Starr's case, and let loving, committed couples marry. "Fidelity" used with permission from Regina Spektor and EMI Records.

We, the undersigned, share President Barack Obama's view that for too long, issues of LGBT rights have been exploited by those seeking to divide us. It's time to move beyond polarization and live up to our founding promise of equality by treating all our citizens with dignity and respect."

Yet, on December 19, 2008, Ken Starr and the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund filed legal briefs defending the constitutionality of Prop 8 and seeking to nullify the marriages of 18,000 devoted same-sex couples solemnized before Prop 8 passed.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in this case on March 5, with a decision expected within 90 days. We, the undersigned, ask that the Court enforce the equality promised to each of us by our constitution and invalidate Prop 8. So doing will protect all loving, committed couples in California -- including the 18,000 who said "I do" last year -- and prevent the initiative process from being a tool for stripping vulnerable minorities of precious constitutional rights.

As Americans who believe in the rule of law and fundamental civil rights, we know that Ken Starr and the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund's shameful attempt to nullify equal protection and all these bonded unions will be condemned in the eyes of history. We know that, ultimately, love will prevail, no matter how hard they try to fight it.

Sincerely, 371,155 people have signed this letter*. Please add your name now! [Click on the hyperlink above.]

MLP: Il-Kummissjoni Nazzjonali għall-Promozzjoni ta’ l-Ugwaljanza f’laqgħa mal-Mexxej Laburista

http://www.mlp.org.mt/content.aspx?Cnt=NewsDetails&t=content&ID=STQ05032009a
05-03-2009; Uffiċċju tal-Komunikazzjoni, Partit Laburista

[Silta mill-istqarrija]

Illum wara nofs, fiċ-Ċentru Nazzjonali Laburista, il-Mexxej Laburista u Kap ta’ l-Oppozizzjoni Joseph Muscat iltaqa’ mal-Kummisjoni Nazzjonali għall-Promozzjoni ta’ l-Ugwaljanza (KNPU). Matul din il-laqgħa, l-Kap tal-Kummisjoni Dr Janet Mifsud preżentat lill-Mexxej Laburista r-rapport annwali ta’ ħidma tagħhom. Għal din il-laqgħa, il-Mexxej Laburista kien akkumpanjat mill-erbgħa kandidati nisa tal-Partit Laburista għall-Elezzjonijiet tal-Parlament Ewropew.

Il-Kummisjoni Nazzjonali għall-Promozzjoni ta’ l-Ugwaljanza daħlet fis-sitt sena tagħha. Fl-aħħar sena ta’ ħidma tagħha hija bdiet taħdem u tinvestiga f’oqsma ġodda bħal diskriminazzjoni fuq bażi ta’ razza. Dr Mifsud qalet illi minkejja l-ħafna xogħol li sar fl-aħħar żmien, il-Kummisjoni għandha ħafna x’tagħmel.

Tkelmet dwar ilment li jidħlu għand il-Kummisjoni dwar nuqqas ta’ bilanċ mhux min-nisa biss. Il-Kap Eżekuttiv tal-Kummisjoni Sina Bugeja spjegat kif fil-ħidma tagħhom huma jaħdmu fil-qrib tal-Kummisjoni Nazzjonali Persuni b’Diżabilita’.

Dr Muscat qajjem il-punt dwar il-bżonn li jibdew ikunu investigati ukoll każijiet ta’ diskriminazzjoni ibbażati fuq orjentament sesswali, jiġifieri diskriminazzjoni kontra persuna għax tkun gay. Intqal li din hija waħda mill-oqsma fejn qed isiru talbiet iżda hemm bżonn ta’ bidla fil-liġi.

...

Preżenti ghal-laqgħa kien hemm ukoll il-Membri tal-Kummissjoni għall-Promozzjoni tal-Ugwaljanza, Dr Miriam Spiteri Debono, Dr Vanni Xuereb u Joe Farrugia.

Press Release: Taħt Pjattaforma Soċjali ngħelbu l-isfidi

Stqarrija maħruga minn Claudette Abela Baldacchino membru tal-Grupp Soċjalista fil-Kumitat tar-Reġjuni; 11 ta’ Marzu 2009

"Ilkoll flimkien taħt pjattaforma soċjali nistgħu ndawwru l-isfidi tagħna f`opportunitajiet u ngħaddu mill-prinċipji għall-prattika favur għixien ta’ ħajja aħjar.” Hekk sostniet Claudette Abela Baldacchino Membru tal-Kumitat tar-Reġjuni tal-Unjoni Ewropea f'laqgħa mal-uffiċjali tal-Malta Gay Rigħts Movement fil-Mosta.

Tul il-laqgħa Abela Baldacchino ppreżentat l-abbozz tar-rapport mħejji minnha kontra kull forma ta' diskriminazzjoni dwar id-direttiva u l-komunikazzjoni tal-Kummissjoni Ewropea liema rapport għandu jgħaddi għal vot fil-Kummissjoni għall-Politika Ekonomika u Soċjali fi ħdan il-Kumitat tar-Reġjuni tal-UE f'April li ġej.

Abela Baldacchino żiedet tgħid li kull persuna għandha dritt li tgħix aħjar u li tiġi trattata b’dinjita u ugwaljanza kemm fuq il-post tax-xogħol kif ukoll il-barra minnu.
Huwa għalhekk li biex ngħelbu l-isfidi fost l-oħrajn ta' l-esklużjoni soċjali, tal-faqar u l-preġudizzji rridu naħdmu lkoll flimkien għal għan wieħed, dak li kull persuna tkun fil-qofol ta' kull deċiżjoni li tittieħed biex hekk inħarsu u ntejbu b'ġustizzja l-livell ta' l-għixien ta' kulħadd.

Fir-rapport tagħha lill-Kumitat tar-Reġjuni tal-Unjoni Ewropea Abela Baldacchino jappella għat-tisħiħ tal-liġijiet, għal strumenti effettivi u għal ħolqien ta' strutturi aħjar biex kull persuna tingħata d-dinjita li jixirqilha.

Abela Baldacchino, saħqet dwar it-twemmin tagħha f’Ewropa Soċjali fejn in-nies tassew jiġu l-ewwel u sostniet li bħal ma qed tagħmel mill-Kumitat tar-Reġjuni tal-Unjoni Ewropeja hekk ukoll mill-Parlament Ewropew trid tkun il-vuċi tal-poplu kollu, inkluz il-minoranzi.

Claudette Abela Baldacchino
Membru tal-Grupp Soċjalista fil-Kumitat tar-Regjuni

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

YouTube: Priest part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxVgRU-Tl3c

1994 Antonia Bird
Father Greg Pilkington (Linus Roache) is torn between his call as a conservative Catholic priest and his secret life as a homosexual with a gay lover...

See the other sections of the film on YouTube's related links.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

YouTube: Gabriella Calleja IMP

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wi9A6TBBeWc


February 2009, UHM has launched this campaign to encourage ppl to vote in the coming MEP elections. Interview with Gabi Calleja (MGRM) regarding the up-coming MEP elections.

See also:

http://www.090509.org/topics/inclusion_gabriella.php
Forum: http://www.090509.org/forum/index.php (one has to register to post comments)
Gabi's blog is here: http://www.090509.org/blogs/blogger8.php

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Times: Blog: The dictatorship of relativism

Blogs » Fr Joe Borg
Wednesday, 4th March 2009

[Excerpt from the article]

The Bishop of Gozo, Mgr Mario Grech, recently commented about abuses committed during the Nadur Carnival. It seems that there were some people who thought that it was funny parading around the streets mimicking the Risen Christ and the Apostles. Their warped sense of humour is considered as disgusting behaviour by many. The Bishop was right to voice his protest and concerns.

But the goings on of the Gozo carnival had other grotesque aspects. Someone thought that it would be a good idea to do a maskra grottesta in the form of a door which resembled the door of the Basilica of St George in Victoria. This “outrage” against the door brought a strong reaction against it. A judicial protest was filed and it was reported that the police took swift action so that the door was immediately locked away. Isn’t it incredible! In this most Catholic segment of the world you can make fun of the Risen Christ but you cannot make fun at a Church door! Bishop Emeritus Cauchi once had referred to some Catholics in Gozo as people with a “pigeon mentality”. This is quite an appropriate appellative in these circumstances as well.

The seriousness behind the Carnival

But the aspect I wish to bring out is not the reference by Bishop Grech to such outrages. More important was his conclusion. He said – and I quote in the original:

“Din l-imġiba tikxef il-qawwa tal-irrazzjonalità preżenti fi żminijietna. Għax kieku l-bniedem juża r-raġuni żgur li ma jwettaqx għemejjel degradanti u juri aktar rispett lejh innifsu u lejn is-soċjetà.

Inċidenti serji bħal dawn jikkonfermaw li qed ngħixu taħt id-dittatura tar-relattiviżmu, fejn kulħadd jemmen li għaliex huwa ħieles minn kull kejl legali jew etiku, allura jista’ jgħid u jagħmel li jrid, anke jekk b’dak li jgħid u jagħmel ikun jikkawża ħsara fl-oħrajn. Hija mentalità relattivista li twassal biex il-bniedem jirridikola mhux biss dak kollu li għandu x’jaqsam mas-sagru, imma wkoll li jneżża’ lilu nnifsu mid-dinjità umana tiegħu.”

The fault line of relativism

Bishop Grech’s reference to the dictatorship of relativism is not original and I am certain that he makes no such claim. He was repeating a phrase used by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger one day before he was elected Pope. On that occasion Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger gave a homily calling on his fellow cardinals to counter forces sweeping the world toward what he called a "dictatorship of relativism."

He has since then spoken on more than one occasion about this scourge.

Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago, when asked to comment on this phrase said that Pope John Paul in his 1993 encyclical "Veritatis Splendor" "showed that just as there was a fault line in the Soviet empire that eventually brought it down ... there is a fault line in our society, in our culture, between concern for personal freedom and abandonment of objective truth.”

While Pope John Paul supported the democracy movement in countries like his native Poland, he later feared that policies were no longer being based on moral principles. After his experience under totalitarian rule, the Pope worried that if a democratic society cannot reach consensus about truth then power takes over. Pope Benedict shares this concern.

So should we as this fault line has been causing so much havoc in our societies.

How awful he’s a Catholic

In the above mentioned homily to the cardinals the then-Cardinal Ratzinger said that standing up for Catholic principles in political debates is often derided as fundamentalism.

Let’s take a number of examples from different countries in the last few years.

Spain. When the Socialist government was pushing homosexual marriage, adoption by gays and express divorce all those who took a stand against this position were submitted to all kind of abuse and attacks. In March of last year El Pais daily reported that Zapatero had pledged to "put the bishops in their place" after his party's victory.

The Buttiglione case can be considered as a good example of intolerance towards Catholics by many today. He suffered for his convictions at the hand of intolerant relativists.

When Catholic leaders expressed their opinion against abortion during Mexican national debates, politicians and others wanted the federal government to silence them. Cardinal Norberto Rivera, Archbishop of Mexico City, and his spokesman, Father Hugo Valdemar Romero, were accused by several political parties before the Secretaria de Gobernacion (Ministry of Internal Affairs) of violating state laws by engaging in the abortion debate. They were eventually cleared in 2007.

Boston Catholic Charities in Massachusetts, ran an adoption agency that had been placing children with families for over 100 years. In 2006, however, the agency had to stop this service rather than submit to a state law requiring it to place children with homosexual couples.

Besides we all remember the opposition of many secularists to any mention of God or Christianity in the European Constitution.

Today it is very politically incorrect to be anti-gay, anti-Semitic, anti-black etc. And so it should be. But the creeping mentality, even in Malta, considers being anti-Catholic as the zenith of political correctness. It seems that everyone has ever increasing rights except for Catholics. It seems that every opinion has a place and a value barring Catholic opinions and positions.
Relativism starts by promising to be very democratic. It pretends that all ideas should be treated equally. But it soon becomes very intolerant of everyone who does not believe in relativism. The relativistic mentality is the archenemy of real dialogue as it tries to impose itself on everything and everyone.

...

Comments

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C Attard (20 hours, 59 minutes ago)
Part 1:

Rather than Catholics being persecuted, it is more a case of Catholics losing their grip on power (at long last) and not being able anymore to impose their beliefs on all and sundry. You mention the Buttiglione case, but you don't mention his inflammatory remarks with respect to homosexuality and his attempts to deny gays and lesbians their human rights. Examples: 1. He tried to deny gays in Italy from staging peaceful marches, in violation of their right to freedom of assembly. 2. As a member of the Convention that drew up the EU's Charter on Fundamental Rights, he moved a motion to remove sexual orientation from the anti-discrimination provision.

Armed with this information, no wonder that MEPs refused to confirm him as Commissioner. As our elected representatives, they rightly decided not to trust such a sensitive office (dealing of all things with human rights in the Commission!) to such a bigot.

C Attard (20 hours, 59 minutes ago)
Part 2:

You also fail to mention that the post in question is political, not administrative. With your same argument, you would be discriminating against a pro-choice political candidate if you don't vote for him. Whilst people are entitled not to be discriminated against when it comes to jobs and administrative posts, the same does not hold for positions of political power where the individual is responsible for shaping policy and where that individual requires the confidence of the people and of their elected representatives. That's what happened in Buttiglione's case. His vision of human rights, which excludes people because of their sexual orientation, was not the one espoused by the majority of MEPs or the majority of the people of Europe. Well done for sending him back where he belongs!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

YouTube: Milk Trailer 2008

Out in Malta on Thursday 4.03.09: http://www.edencinemas.com.mt/movie/1697

Trailer:




Academy Award nominee Gus Van Sant directs Academy Award winner Sean Penn as gay-rights icon Harvey Milk.

Related Links:
- YouTube: Dustin Lance Black Oscar Acceptance - Gay Marriage
- YouTube: SEAN PENN WINS FOR MILK GIVES GREAT PROPOSITION 8 SPEECH MILK

MGRM's article on the film: http://www.maltagayrights.net/node/119