Friday, 5 August 2011

Independent: US Embassy and Malta Gay Rights Movement seminar
03 August 2011

The US Embassy in Ta’ Qali inaugurated its new state-of-the-art multi-purpose room by hosting a training day intended to discuss strategies and methods to combat homophobia and to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in Malta.

The training formed part of MGRM’s capacity building efforts and brought to a conclusion a series of events including a Rainbow Weekend held in March and the celebration of Malta’s Pride Week which included a digital video conference with leading US human rights lawyer Jennifer Pizer. Saturday’s training, facilitated by Silvan Agius, policy director for ILGA-Europe, focused on advocacy strategies which Maltese LGBT activists should employ to ameliorate equality and human rights. Trends in continental European LGBT laws and social perceptions were discussed and comparisons were made with trends in Malta. The participants, active members of the Malta Gay Rights Movement, Drachma and Drachma parents’ groups as well as the University group We Are discussed critical issues which must be addressed in order to advance gay rights in Malta and to develop strategies, with attainable milestones, which will achieve equal rights for Malta’s LGBT community.

Public Affairs Officer Elijah Waterman welcomed the participants to the new US Embassy and reiterated the US Embassy’s ongoing support for the Malta Gay Rights Movement and its efforts to promote awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in Malta. Chargé d’Affaires Richard M. Mills said, “The Obama administration has taken great strides to prevent violence against the LGBT community around the world, and to eliminate discrimination in the United States. I am happy to support MGRM’s efforts in Malta and to encourage your commitment to this struggle for equality.”

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