Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Gay Malta vs Gay Sweden

 July 2012 by Enikö Vass

Although Malta has been a member of the European Union for more than 8 years, gay people in Malta do not enjoy the same rights and freedom as homosexuals in other European countries, including Sweden. Instead of acceptance, they often encounter discrimination at the place of work and outside it.

 When looking at the rights of gay people in Malta and Sweden we can see that both countries have developed significantly from the time when homosexuality was still considered a criminal act. Sweden took the first step to gay rights by decriminalization of gay behaviours in 1944, while Malta lagged behind, only taking this step in 1973, a decision taken by the Labour government in power at the time. In 1979, the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare removed homosexuality from its medical diagnosis list while more rights were introduced with time. Since then, the attitudes towards cohabiting, relationships and partnerships have changed to become more tolerant and accepting. In fact, any gay people who have been persecuted in their home countries due to their homosexuality may be given asylum in Sweden.

Malta and Sweden agree on a few points; it is illegal to discriminate against anyone because of their sexual orientations in both countries and there are no laws forbidding sex between people of the same gender as long as both parties are over 18 years old.

However, the two countries see things differently when it comes to cohabiting. In Sweden there is no difference in cohabiting couples – gay and straight couples enjoy the exact same rights and the same laws apply to everyone. Also, since 2009 gay people have managed to obtain the right of getting married, with the same rights and obligations as heterosexual marriages, including the possibility of parenthood.

This is definitely not the case in Malta where gay couples are not allowed to get married and therefore cannot enjoy the same rights and protection available to married couples. Moreover, cohabitation laws are still not enacted, giving rise to insecurities and abuses within the Maltese gay community.

Even if Sweden enjoys open views and protective, non-discriminatory legislations, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any cases of discrimination or prejudice, and while hate crimes are not a lot, gay communities keep on organizing gay pride festivals to increase awareness and help in ensuring the total inclusion of gay people in society.

Although the Malta Gay Rights Movement has been vital to increase awareness regarding the rights of gay people in the Maltese Islands, gay people are still not completely protected by law. After a few hate-crimes happening in the first half of 2012, Malta welcomed the passing of the Hate Crime Legislation which includes sections about sexual orientation and gender identity. Hopefully the next step will be the legislation about civil partnerships, which I hope it will be very soon!

Gay Pride in Stockholm

Friday, 6 July 2012

Kull Ħadd: B’vuci waħda kontra l-omofobija

30 JUNE 2012 19:39, KRISTA CARUANA

 Il-Gay Pride Parade 2012

Is-Sibt filghodu ghexieren ta' persuni attendew il-Gay Pride Parade li saret f'Tas-Sliema u li din is-sena kellha t-tema ‘I am'.

Din l-attività annwali hija parti mill-attivitajiet li qed isiru bhala parti mill-gimgha ddedikata lill-persuni LGBT.

It-Torċa: Tibda l-ġimgħa dedikata għall-persuni LGBT b’marċ f’Tas-Sliema Qbil dwar il-bżonn tal-ugwaljanza

1.7.12 minn Melvin Farrugia

Bħala parti mill-ġimgħa ddedikata għall-persuni LGBT, magħrufa aktar bħala l-Pride Week, ilbieraħ fl-10.30am ittellgħet attività fejn diversi persuni minn kull tip ta’ orjentazzjoni sesswali ltaqgħu flimkien u mxew minn ħdejn il-monument tal-familja f’Tas-Sliema lejn Triq Bisazza u spiċċaw fi Pjazza Sant’Anna.

Kull Ħadd: Minn ħajja perversa għal waħda trankwilla

30.6. 2012 15:55 RAMONA PORTELLI

Il-bniedem jghaddi minn hafna fazijiet tal-hajja, u kultant anke jintilef f'xi triq hazina li ma twasslu mkien ghajr f'tahwid u aktar genn fil-hajja. Hemm min jaghraf opportunitajiet u toroq ahjar, u hemm min jibqa' jintilef mal-kurrent. Fil-kaz tal-intervista tal-lum, JOHN MARK ATTARD kien jghix hajja laxka, però dan l-ahhar irnexxielu jibda jghix hajja trankwilla permezz tal-kelma t'Alla - il-Bibbja.

Kull Ħadd: Mit-Tolleranza għad-drittijiet


Fis-snin mhux daqstant ‘il boghod, is-socjetà taghna kellha ligijiet li jitfghu l-habs persuni omosesswali. Din il-bidla sehhet fil-bidu tas-snin 70 meta saru zewg emendi fil-fehma tieghi importanti li mill-kodici kriminali tnehha r-reat li bih persuni omosesswali kienu jispiccaw il-habs u tnehha wkoll l-adulterju minn reat kriminali.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Times: Balotelli Vs Barwuah

Friday, June 29, 2012, 11:47 by Alison Bezzina
I’m betting my last dollar that there isn’t one single racist in Italy today. With Balotelli’s performance yesterday, he went from mad Mario to Super Mario and now everybody seems to have turned egalitarian and all-embracing of the darker race. It’s incredible how success can make people forget that you’re short, skinny, black, yellow or wear hair clips.
Balotelli was born in Italy to Ghanaian immigrants. After he fell ill as a toddler he was fostered by an Italian family in Brescia. Though he took the name Balotelli from his foster parents, he only uses it on his shirts when playing football. In the beginning of the Euro 2012 tournament it was rumoured that he would use both family names on his shirt; he had also claimed that if he was racially abused during the Championship, he would walk off the pitch – neither one happened – as far as I could see he only used Balotelli on his shirt, and despite the many racist comments, he never walked off.

Independent: We Are: Seeking marriage equality

1 July 2012 by Annaliza Borg

While the policy-makers working on the Cohabitation Bill are saying this will include civil partnerships, Malta Gay Rights Movement’s Gaby Calleja believes it will not cover civil unions and will therefore not give LGBT people the rights they are seeking.

Ms Calleja was speaking to The Malta Independent on Sunday during the Gay Pride March, held on the busy Sliema promenade yesterday morning.

Independent: Civil partnerships or gay marriages?

1 July 2012 by Martin Scicluna

A month or so ago, I had the privilege of attending the award of the Woman of Courage by US Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley to Gaby Calleja, the Coordinator of the Malta Gay Rights Movement. In a simple but moving ceremony, Gaby Calleja received formal recognition by the United States for her sterling work in promoting the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people in Malta and internationally.

Independent: Being nice to gays

1 July 2012 by Daphne Caruana Galizia

Neo-Mintoffian Joseph Muscat has released a video message for Gay Pride Week. I found it very amusing, and typically right-wing-village-conservative- struggling-to-be -open-minded.

The thought of Joseph and Michelle, with her Gucci-print wellies and their his-n-hers Northface jackets, their mittilkless family car and their social-climbing initiatives, their Soleil and Etoile and their ballet lessons, their nice little parties with useful people from what they think is high society, their stays at Ta’ Cenc with a Filipina nanny, thrust into the middle of your standard Soho Gay Pride Parade, jostled about by men with feathers up their butt and women with elaborately decorated nipples, has me in fits of much-needed laughter.

Times: ‘Society is surpassing the politicians on gay rights’

Sunday, July 1, 2012 by Sarah Carabott

The parade in Sliema.

Society has surpassed politicians in the fight for wider lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) solidarity, according to leading gay rights activist Gabi Calleja.

The second battle for us is marriage equality

Monday, 2 July 2012

Malta Star: [Watch] MP Evarist Bartolo receives 2012 Soldier Award for equality rights

Saturday, 30 Jun 2012, 17:43

The Soldier Award 2012 for equality rights was given in absentia to Labour MP Evarist Bartolo. Gay Exiles' envoy Russell Sammut has presented the 2012 Soldier Award to equality rights activist Evarist Bartolo during this year's gay pride celebration in Sliema on Saturday morning.

MP Evarist Bartolo has fearlessly defended the rights of Malta's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and asexual (LGBTQA) community, who continues to be treated as second class citizens under current law.

A Recipient is selected annually through a rigorous public and inter-organizational voting system in which both the general public and minority rights NGOs, including the Malta Gay Rights Movement, the Maltese Gay Community, Drachma and other contributors elect a member of the community who has demonstrated commitment and dedication to advance equal rights in Malta.

MP Bartolo has campaigned and spoken publicly for many years to protect and advance human rights in Malta.

Whilst thanking Gay Exiles on Facebook, Bartolo said that he would have liked to attend the celebrations in person as he has done in the past but had other engagements abroad. He said that he believes in equality in civil rights by conviction not by convention.

[Click on the link above to watch the video.]

Malta Star: Even minorities are human beings

Saturday, 30 Jun 2012 by Evarist Bartolo

Last year, together with other 84 countries, Malta signed a United Nations’ Human Rights Council joint declaration calling for an end to violence, criminal sanctions and human rights violations against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Gay Exiles: Award given in absentia to Maltese equality activist Evarist Bartolo


Gay Exiles' envoy Russell Sammut has presented the 2012 Soldier Award to equality rights activist Evarist Bartolo during this year's gay pride celebration in Sliema on Saturday.

The Hon. Bartolo has fearlessly defended the rights of Malta's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and asexual (LGBTQA) community, who continues to be treated as second class citizens under current law.

A Recipient is selected annually through a rigorous public and inter-organizational voting system in which both the general public and leading minority rights NGOs, including the Malta Gay Rights Movement, the Maltese Gay Community, Drachma and other contributors elect a member of the community who has demonstrated commitment and dedication to advance equal rights in Malta

Bartolo has campaigned and spoken publicly for many years to protect and advance human in Malta. Bartolo would have like to attend the celebrations in person as he has done in the past but had other engagements abroad.

Malta Right Now: Inawgurata l-Pride Week 2012

Ivan VASSALLO, 30 ta' Ġunju, 2012 16:06 CET

Ġiet inawgurata l-Pride Week 2012 b'mixja mill-monument tal-familja f'Tas-Sliema għal pjazza Sant' Anna. Għal din il-mixja kien hemm preżenti bosta membri tas-soċjeta' ċivili fosthom il-partiti politiċi, għaqdiet non-governattivi u anka l-Ambaxxatriċi Amerikana.

F'isem il-Partit Nazzjonalista kien hemm il-whip David Agius u d-Deputat Karl Gouder.

Fl-indirizz tiegħu il-Ministru Chris Said tkellem fuq il-ħidma tal-gvern fejn semma legiżlazzjoni importanti kontra l-krimini ta' mibgħeda.

Il-Ministru fakkar ukoll kif żdiedet l-allokazzjoni finanzjarja u l-poteri tal-NCPE b'mod unanimu mill-parlament. Hu saħaq li flimkien dan u aktar jista' jkun possibli.

Malta Star: Gay rights, human rights

Saturday, 30 Jun 2012, 01:31

There are citizens amongst us who are still deprived of the rights that the rest of us enjoy. For many years now the Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM) has been campaigning for the rights of same-sex couples, to make violence against homosexuals a criminal offence, to address bullying against gays in schools, to prohibit discrimination in the delivery of goods and services on the grounds of sexual orientation, to extend the remit of the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality to cater for the grounds of sexual orientation and to include gender reassignment surgery and hormone therapy for transgender persons as part of the public health services. Some of these battles have been won.

Malta Today: [WATCH] Gay rights march at Sliema attracts just 100 people

30 June 2012 - 12:43, Bianca Caruana

Just 100 persons, including political figures, take part in Gay Pride March calling for marriage equality and gender identity.

People gathering for the Gay Pride March Malta 2012 in Sliema
[More] Photos by Ray Attard/MediaToday

Calling for gender and marriage equality, just 100 persons participated in this morning’s Malta Gay Pride March in Sliema including Justice Minister Chris Said, Labour MP Owen Bonnici and Alternattiva Demokratika spokesperson Angele Deguara.

Di-ve: LGBT Pride March takes to Sliema

30 June 2012

The annual LGBT Pride March was held for the first time in Sliema.

The march, which celebrates gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and other orientations, has been held annually in Malta since 2006, but this is the first time it has left the capital city.

“We chose Sliema because everyone is more open here,” David Debono from the Malta Gay Rights Movement told di-ve.com.

Times: Religion and culture

Friday, June 29, 2012 by Olga Pitcairn, New Hope, Pennsylvania, US

The article Lessons In Multiculturalism rightly points out that trailblazers – of every imaginable topic (same-sex marriage?) – are always at risk of being spurned (vilified) or paying with their life. So far, Malta has only faced colour and culture issues.

Indonesia’s troubles are not colour but religion: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam, Christianity and several indigenous religions. Each religion (Bali/Hinduism for example) created its own “culture”.

Times: Video: Colourful Gay Pride parade in Sliema

PL: Mit-tolleranza għad-drittijiet – Joseph Muscat

Il-Ħamis, 28 ta' Ġunju 2012, 21:08

Pajjiżna jrid jimxi mit-tolleranza għad-drittijiet, fejn l-għan li jmexxina ‘l quddiem ikun l-ugwaljanza. Biex nilħqu dan l-għan, irid ikun hemm Gvern li b’konvinzjoni jemmen fl-ugwaljanza. Gvern li b’konvinzjoni jifhem u jirrispetta l-imħabba bejn żewġ persuni u ma jippruvax jidħol fil-kamra tas-sodda tagħhom.

Times: Pride Week message of tolerance, equality

Thursday, June 28, 2012, 17:48

Labour leader Joseph Muscat has called for tolerance, respect for everyone's rights and equality in a message issued for Gay Pride Week.

He said that that such aims could only be achieved if the government truly believed in equality and understood and respected the love between two persons, without interfering in what they did in their bedroom.

Malta Star: New rights for cohabiting straight and gay couples

Thursday, 28 Jun 2012, 14:33

Two days ago Justice Minister Chris Said tabled the first reading of a cohabitation bill that will recognise new rights for unmarried couples, both straight and gay. The bill has not been tabled but only its title. The bill has yet to be discussed in the PN parliamentary group and the cabinet.

Malta Today: Joseph Muscat posts video message for anti-homophobia campaign

26.6.12 by Miriam Dalli

Labour leader Joseph Muscat says he aspires to live in a tolerant society that embraces different couples and different families.

The Labour leader said Malta needs a government “that did not intrude in couples’ bedrooms but one that respects the love between two persons, irrespective of who they are.”

Opposition leader Joseph Muscat has recorded a video message as part of the 'It Gets Better' campaign, an international effort at supporting young people who are bullied or harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Malta Star: From tolerance to rights - Joseph Muscat

Thursday, 28 Jun 2012, 17:41

Labour Party leader Joseph Muscat said that our country must move from tolerance to rights, which aims to lead us forward to equality. To achieve this objective, there must be a government that believes in equality with conviction.

A government with conviction understands and respects the love between two people and does not interfere in their intimate lifes.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

YouTube: Joseph Muscat | IT GETS BETTER | Pride 2012


Message by Joseph Muscat, Leader of Partit Laburista, on the occasion of Pride 2012

Malta Today: Motion for cohabitation bill's first reading presented

Motion for bill that will also give rights to gay partners presented in House in week of gay pride celebrations.
Thursday 28 June 2012 - 13:27 by  Matthew Vella

Justice and family minister stewarded the cohabitation bill into parliament, but the devil will be in the detail when the bill is officially tabled.

Justice minister Chris Said has tabled a motion for the bill that will finally bring into law a 1998 electoral pledged to recognise new rights for unmarried couples, both straight and gay.

Żminijietna supports the Gay Pride 2012.

Press Release: Żminijietna – Voice of the Left, P.O Box 35 Sliema. SLM1000,  
Mary Anne Zammit,  Assistant PRO
zminijietna@yahoo.com; www.zminijietna.org
Thursday 28th June 2012

Żminijietna states that “while the Maltese Government is adhering to the vote taken in Strasbourg in November 2010 with regards recognizing civil marriages and civil union of foreign gay couples, is discriminating against Maltese gay couples, as it does not allow civil marriages/union between gay couples in Malta”.

“The vote that was taken in the European Parliament in Strasbourg was a vote for equality, where everyone should retain their existing rights when travelling in the EU, but this is not so for Maltese gay couples”, continued Żminijietna.

Malta Right Now: Preżentat l-ewwel qari tal-abbozz ta' liġi dwar il-Koabitazzjoni

Parlament, 27 ta' Ġunju, 2012 12:43 CET

Il-Ministru tal-Ġustizzja, il-Konsultazzjoni Pubblika u l-Familja Chris Said ressaq quddiem il-Parlament mozzjoni dwar il-koabitazzjoni.

Il-mozzjoni, li ppreżenta l-Ministru responsabbli mill-familja, tipproponi l-ewwel qari tal-abbozz ta' liġi imsejjaħ Att li jipprovdi għar-regolamentazzjoni tal-Koabitazzjoni. Din il-mozzjoni ġiet ippreżentata lill-iskrivan tal-Kamra t-Tlieta filgħaxija.

Di-ve: LGBT individuals stride with pride

by di-ve.com - editorial@di-ve.com
27 June 2012 -- 10:45CEST

This year’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Week, with the theme “I am”, will take place between June 30 and July 7.

It will be celebrated with the aim of reminding everyone that despite "living their lives, being themselves and being part of society", LGBT individuals have to fight for rights that other people take for granted, such as acceptance from parents, equal treatment in employment and free healthcare.

Times: Unhealthy silence on sexual disease

Record number of syphilis cases was recorded last year


Philip Carabot. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Philip Carabot. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier
People who have a sexually transmitted infection need to learn to speak up and seek help instead of keeping silent and infecting others, according to GU clinic consultant Philip Carabot.
In Malta there is an ‘abysmal’ rate of people not using condoms...
Building on this, Health Minister Joseph Cassar said Maltese people still need to develop a sense of “civic responsibility” when dealing with sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Dr Carabot and Dr Cassar were speaking during the launch of the new GU clinic at Mater Dei Hospital yesterday.