Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Malta Star: EU: Malta ranks low in LGBT protection
Thursday, 17 May 2012, 15:20

Malta joins millions around the world in celebrating the International Day Against Homophobia. Although the legal recognition for same-sex partnerships has been put on the agenda lately, it might end up on the shelf as the cohabitation law, taking more than a decade.

According to ILGA Europe report on Malta's LGBT people, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited in the area of employment. Legal gender recognition of trans people, Malta has administrative procedures to obtain legal gender recognition - however only after compulsory sterilisation and compulsory divorce. Malta does not provide any legal recognition of same-sex partnerships, neither joint nor second parent adoption is available to same-sex couples in Malta. Laws on hate and violence do not refer to sexual orientation or gender identity and do not recognise sexual orientation neither gender identity as aggravating factor.

This marks Malta as one of the worst EU Member States to recognise and protect LGBT people.

In Europe, growing up lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender can be challenging: difference often leads to bullying, self-harm, and sometimes suicide attempts. Studies consistently point to higher physical and mental health risks for LGBT young people.

For the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia 2012, over 50 European politicians and leaders from all EU institutions  join forces telling LGBT teenagers they are working to make things better, and put an end to homophobia and transphobia.

In this unique video message, Members of the European Parliament tell young people it gets better in 17 different languages, including in Maltese.

They are joined in the video by Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament; Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council; and Cecilia Malmström, Andris Piebalgs, Neelie Kroes, László Andor and Viviane Reding, Members of the European Commission.

This video message is inspired by the American project It Gets Better, which aims to reduce self-harm and suicide attempts among LGBT young people.

[Tag: David Casa]

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