Friday, 21 May 2010

MaltaStar: PN considers homosexuality as a ‘new reality’
16 May 2010 17:00

The Nationalist Party considers homosexuality as a new reality for Malta. Addressing the PN’s General Council this morning, PN representative Dr Kevin Cutajar placed homosexuality, together with immigration and refugee problems as Malta’s new realities.

The Xaghra Councillor urged the Government to tackle these new realities with Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi praising Dr Cutajar’s arguments in his conclusive remarks in today’s General Council.

Dr Cutajar’s comments seem to confirm popular perception that the PN is cut out on social issues, in particular on gay issues. Moreover, Nationalist Members of the European Parliament Simon Busuttil and David Casa have consistently either voted against or abstained on gay rights.

Gay activist and member of the Labour LGBT, Albert Gauci Cunningham said that homosexuality has been a reality since antiquity.

He pointed out that homosexuality was decriminalized in Malta in the 1970s under a Labour Government and which was opposed by the Nationalist Party.

Gauci Cunningham mentioned also the fact that Nationalist MEPs had either voted or abstained on a European vote condemning homophobia. “Homosexuality was a reality then, it is a reality now.”

“If the PN are finally discussing gay issues because of us, then it seems we are doing something right,” Gauci Cunningham said.

Cyrus Engerer, PN Sliema councillor and gay activist, was evasive when asked on Dr Cutajar’s comments, saying that currently the Nationalist Party is discussing gay issues, which was a marked “improvement” in the country.

Nonetheless, when pointed out the PN’s poor record on gay rights, including the opposition to the discrimination of homosexuality in the 1970s and the Nationalist MEPs votes in the EP, Mr Engerer, a PN loyal, said that the matter is complex and that votes in the European Parliament involve more than one issue. However, he condemned votes against gay rights.

Yet, in 2008 the Malta Gay Rights Movement was not very impressed by Nationalist Party, when both Busuttil and Casa abstained on a comprehensive legislation to combat discrimination.

“Once again, the Nationalist MEPs Simon Busuttil and David Casa failed to support an EU measure that would provide legal protection to a number of minority groups who suffer discrimination on the grounds of religion, disability and sexual orientation in the provision of goods and services.”

The MGRM expressed its disappointment in the voting patterns of “the PN MEP’s who consistently show a lack of commitment towards achieving equality for all citizens in the EU. This is despite the fact that in a meeting the MGRM held prior to the General Election, the PN representatives, which included Simon Busuttil, stated that they would not object to an EU anti-discrimination directive granting protection in the provision of goods and services.”

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