Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Di-ve: President of Argentina's LGBT Federation answers to Pope's opposition

Last Updated 30 | 12 | 2013 at 14:41
Article By: di-ve.com news editorial@di-ve.com

With reference to the Declaration by Charles Scicluna, Auxiliary Bishop of Malta where he expressed that Pope Francis was shocked by the Civil Union Bill with adoption rights in Malta, the Argentina LGBT Federation expresses its strong rejection to the interference of the Catholic Church’s Hierarchy in civil rights which are a matter of secular nature, and rights which should be accessible to all citizens without any form of discrimination including sexual orientation and gender identity.

Times: Approval and opprobrium

Monday, December 30, 2013, 11:30 by Fr Joe Borg

During the past few weeks Bishop Charles Scicluna was the target of many attacks by those who were objecting to his stand about same-sex marriage and adoptions by gay couples.

Bishop Scicluna was accused of acting in isolation from the other Maltese bishops whose stand on the subject was rather mild. The Auxiliary Bishop was even accused of acting out of step with the position of Pope Francis himself. This was quite a strange accusation given that Pope Francis took a very strong stand against the legalisation of same-sex marriage and gay adoption when he was Cardinal-Archbishop of Buenos Aires; and that was not so long ago. However, the detractors of Bishop Scicluna were not impressed. They used to say that Pope Francis was now adopting different tone and content.

Times: Argentina LGBT federation 'not surprised' by Pope's comments on Malta's gay adoptions legislation

Monday, December 30, 2013, 14:07

The President of Argentina's LGBT Federation (FALGBT), Esteban Paulón, has expressed his disappointment over comments by Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna that the Pope was shocked by Maltese legislation which will allow child adoption by gay couples.

Cardinal Jorge Bergolgio (now Pope) organised strong opposition and resistance to Argentina's Gay Marriage law in 2010.

Monday, 30 December 2013

FALGBT: Argentina's LGBT Federation reacts to Pope Francis' "shock"

30.12.2013 by Esteban Paulón, FALGBT, [translated to English by P. Attard]

With reference to the declaration by Charles Scicluna, Auxiliary Bishop of Malta where he expressed that Pope Francis was shocked by the Civil Union Bill with adoption rights in Malta, the Argentine LGBT Federation expresses its strong rejection to the interference of the Catholic Church’s Hierarchy in civil rights which are a matter of secular nature, and rights which should be accessible to all citizens without any form of discrimination including sexual orientation and gender identity.

This case, demonstrates yet another time - as we have repeatedly said - that there is no will from Pope Francis’ part to change the doctrinal position of the Catholic Church with respect to the family and the lack of recognition of gay or lesbian parents.

Esteban Paulón

It is important to remember that during the Debate on Marriage Equality in Argentina, Jorge Bergoglio, as Cardinal of Buenos Aires undertook a war in God’s name against what he considered a devil’s plan to destroy the Argentine society.

With respect to this, Esteban Paulón, President of the Argentine LGBT Federation expressed that “the declarations of the Maltese Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna do not surprise us since they clearly show the true position of Pope Francis with respect to sexual diversity. The Vatican again repeats a merciful discourse which treats us as sick people, far from seeing us as subjects with rights”.

Likewise he added “we don’t expect a change regarding the teachings on the family from the Vatican hierarchy and we can see the interference which they keep on exercising in all the countries on a daily basis hindering the progress of our rights. But the most painful fact is Pope Francis’ silence in view of the increasing penalization and persecution of homosexuals around the world, especially in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. Unfortunately there was not a single word from Pope Francis on India’s Court decision, the restrictive law in Uganda and prohibition of homosexual propaganda in Russia.”

Malta Today: Malta shocks Pope Francis

Happenings in the Roman Catholic island of Malta in connection with the Civil Union Bill and the right of adoption by same-sex couples, shocked Pope Francis who urged Bishop Scicluna to speak out against such issues.

Sunday 29 December 2013 - 12:26 by a Staff Reporter

Pope Francis was shocked when Maltese bishop Charles Scicluna informed him the Roman Catholic island of Malta was contemplating the introduction of a Civil Union Bill and allowing gay.

Speaking in an interview with The Times of Malta, the Bishop said he met Pope Francis on 12 December and discussed issues related to the Civil Union Bill and gay adoption. The Pontiff encouraged the Bishop to stand up and speak against such bills and "that is exactly what I did in my Christmas sermon". In a highly criticised sermon Scicluna argued God's own son was raised by a man and a woman, and not by two men or two women.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

iNews Malta: “Familja nixtiequ li tkun raġel, mara u tfal” - Cremona

15:20 | 29.12.2013

Waqt l-iskambju tal-awgurju tal-bidu tas-sena, l-Arċisqof Pawlu Cremona qal li l-knisja tixtieq li familja tkun raġel, mara u tfal.

“Ħafna drabi l-ġranet tagħna jimxu mhux biss mal-ġranet ċivili imma wkoll mal-ġranet tal-liturġija, u llum inzertat il-festa tal-familja ta' Nazaret. Din il-festa tfakkarna f'kemm dinjità Alla l-imbierek iħalli l-familja. Meta ħalaq id-dinja, bena kollox madwar raġel u mara. Meta mbagħad ġiet il-familja ta' Nazaret, l-ewwel kien hemm Marija li qalet iva, imbagħad kien hemm Ġużeppi li qal iva biex huma jiffurmaw familja madwar il-Mulej Ġesù. Għalhekk, għalina u għas-soċjetà kollha, il-familja nixtiequ li tkun familja ffurmata minn raġel, mara u t-tfal. Din għandha tkun il-bażi ta' kull soċjetà. Minnha jrid joħroġ ħafna tagħlim fuq it-tfal u ħafna mħabba fuq it-tfal biex huma jitgħallmu jħobbu wkoll u jġibu ħafna stabbilità fis-soċjetà tagħna,” qal Cremona.

iNews Malta: L-adozzjoni bejn koppji gay ixxukjat lill-Papa - Scicluna

09:50 | 29.12.2013

F'intervista li ta lit-Times of Malta, l-Isqof Charles Scicluna qal li kellem lill-Papa Franġisku dwar il-liġi tal-unjoni ċivili f'Malta u l-punt li koppji omosesswali se jkunu jistgħu jadottaw. Scicluna qal li din kienet aħbar xokkanti għall-Papa.

Scicluna qal li hu kellu laqgħa mal-Papa fit-12 ta' Diċembru, fejn fiha tkellmu fuq diversi affarijiet fosthom din il-liġi. Scicluna qal li meta wera t-tħassib tiegħu lill-Papa, l-istess Papa inkoraġġih biex jitkellem. Kien għalhekk qal Scicluna li hu tkellem dwar din il-liġi waqt l-omelija tiegħu tal-Milied. Omelija li kienet ikkritikata ferm mis-soċjetà ċivili.

Pink News: Comment: The docs who cried ‘cure’ – A lookback at HIV in 2013

1st December 2013, 1:22 PM by  Will Harris

Will Harris works for THT

Will Harris from Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) looks back at the key HIV stories of this year and writes on whether people have a false impression that a ‘cure’ for the virus is just around the corner.

Whenever a story breaks about a potential new ‘cure’ for HIV (and there have been at least six this year), it generally falls to THT to piss on everyone’s chips. We don’t do this to be contrary, or because we’re scared a cure will have us all out of a job (that would be the happiest redundancy process ever); we do it because researchers, with the best of motives, are getting seriously ahead of themselves.

Times: Pope shocked by same-sex adoptions legislation

Sunday, December 29, 2013, 07:40 by Ariadne Massa

File photo of another meeting between Pope Francis and Bishop Scicluna.

The Pope is “shocked” by Malta’s Civil Unions Bill, which will allow gay couples to adopt children, Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna has told The Sunday Times of Malta.

Defending his decision to use his Christmas homily to reiterate that a family had to be built around a man and a woman, Mgr Scicluna said he had aired these concerns with Pope Francis when he met him on December 12.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Times: Bishop: Couple is a man and a woman

Thursday, December 26, 2013, 11:10

Bishop Charles Scicluna in a Christmas homily has reiterated that the family has to be built around a man and a woman.

"Around the manger of baby Jesus there are also a woman and a man: the mother who gave him birth and her husband Joseph whom God chose to bring up, along with the mother, the child of Mary. God, who generated his Son as a human being without the participation of a man, did not want his Son as man to be brought up without the participation of a man.

Independent: Bishop’s Christmas Day homily raises hackles

Friday, 27 December 2013, 10:04

Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna's Christmas Day homily called on the Christian faithful and MPs "not to destroy the family based on the lasting bond between one man and one woman". This was immediately understood as a reference to the forthcoming legislation that will introduce gay unions and comments for and against the bishop multiplied on the news portals.

Mgr Scicluna, 54, has been vocal in his opposition to civil unions for homosexual couples and gay adoptions, although his was a relatively lone voice in the otherwise muted response from the Maltese Catholic archdiocese.

Malta Today: Bishop’s Christmas homily calls on MPs ‘not to destroy family’

Charles Scicluna keeps up opposition to gay unions in homily that warns of ‘troughs’ filled with ‘food of folly and rat poison put by our enemy’

Thursday 26 December 2013 - 12:27 by Matthew Vella

Mgr Charles Scicluna

Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna's Christmas Day homily did not fail to send yet another strong message to politicians, in which he called on the Christian faithful and MPs "not to destroy the family based on the lasting bond between one man and one woman" - a reference to the forthcoming legislation that will introduce gay unions.

Mgr Scicluna, 54, has been vocal in his opposition to civil unions for homosexual couples and gay adoptions, albeit a lone voice in the otherwise muted response from the Maltese Catholic archdiocese.

CNN: Ugandan parliament passes anti-gay bill that includes life in prison

By Faith Karimi, CNN
December 23, 2013 -- Updated 1911 GMT (0311 HKT)

Ugandan LGBT community: We're still here

(CNN) -- After years of controversy, the Ugandan parliament has passed a bill that punishes certain acts of homosexuality with life in prison.

A Ugandan lawmaker first introduced the bill in 2009, sparking worldwide condemnation for tough measures that included the death penalty.

Times: No secret pre-electoral agreement

Monday, December 23, 2013, 00:01 by Helena Dalli

Last week, we concluded the second reading of the Civil Union Bill. Ironically, those who said the government was rushing on this matter refused to concede some extra time in my winding up speech so that I could answer all the questions raised by the various speakers.

Parliamentary debate transcripts are the source one looks up (or ought to) if one wants to get as close to as true an account as can be of what is said on any matter being discussed. It is the place where all that is said is recorded word for word, so little room for misinterpretation, when compared to other media.

Independent: Whatever you do, don’t call Christmas Carol gay

Sunday, 22 December 2013, 10:50 , by Daphne Caruana Galizia

He’s not from Mellieha but you never know; he might knock you down with his red leather sofa. How do we know he has one? He called the press to his home last Friday and sat on it, puffing away on a cigarette, defiantly justifying his position and that of Freemasons in the judiciary in general. Of course he can throw a party in his courtroom, pass round the whisky, smoke in a public building and order the arrest of a journalist for trying to take photographs of him doing all this. Why not? He’s not wrong. He’s right. And if you think he’s a woman because of his name, he’ll run his hand over his crotch, as he was reported in the newspapers as having done, to prove that he’s a real man – because copious facial hair is not enough and he might be mistaken for the Bearded Lady of Barnum’s Circus.

Times: US delegation to include gay athletes

Thursday, December 19, 2013, 00:01

The US has named former tennis star Billie Jean King, one of the first prominent athletes to publicly acknowledge her homosexuality, to be in the US delegation to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, where Russia’s anti-gay policies have stirred controversy.

Another openly gay athlete, two-time Olympic hockey player Caitlin Cahow, will represent the United States at closing ceremonies, according to a White House statement.

Malta Today: MGRM rubbishes Busutill claims of pre-electoral agreement with Labour

Lack of equal recognition the key factor for gay community, says gay rights movement.

Thursday 19 December 2013 - 13:26 by Tim Attard Montalto

Simon Busuttil

The Malta Gay Rights Movement has 'categorically' denied Simon Busutill's claim on Reporter that a pre-electoral arrangement took place between the organisation and the Labour Party.

On the programme, Busuttil suggested that the reason why he may not enjoy the full support of the gay lobby might be due to a pre-electoral agreement made with the Labour Party.

All Out: India [criminalised homosexuality again]


I’m Ria, from Bangalore, India.
On Wednesday, my country made it a crime to be gay. Will you sign the petition and stand with me against the law?
India just made it a crime to be gay – again. Four years after its anti-gay law was suspended, the Supreme Court has turned back the clock. Every lesbian, gay, bi and trans person in India is now in danger of jail, blackmail or worse.
The long fight by dedicated Indian activists will go on. It's a frightening moment for people in India, including Indian All Out members. But days like this are for standing together, and there's strength and hope in numbers.
Will you sign a message of hope and love? All the names will be sent to LGBT groups across India. Anyone reading the messages will know – none of us stand alone.
India is home to 17% of the world's population, so huge numbers of people – millions – just had their rights stripped away. At protests across India, there's been a message of hope and defiance: Ladenge, Jeetenge. It means 'we will fight, we will win'.

Malta Today: Government denies reaching pre-electoral agreements with gay lobby

Prime Minister’s spokesperson says Simon Busuttil ‘tried to lure gay lobby in pre-electoral meetings’.

Wednesday 18 December 2013 - 14:48 by a Staff Reporter

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was this year awarded the Soldier's Award for supporting the gay community.

The Labour government's position on civil unions and gay adoptions was guided by principles, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said, adding that the PL's position on various issues had also been clearly listed in the party's electoral manifesto.

Malta Today: Busuttil alleges ‘pre-electoral agreement’ between gay lobby and Labour party

Opposition leader shuns ‘conservative label’ and alleges that the gay lobby and the Labour Party might have reached a pre-electoral agreement.

Tuesday 17 December 2013 - 16:01 by Jerome Caruana Cilia

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil has suggested the Labour government could have reached a pre-electoral agreement with the gay lobby over civil unions and the adoption of children by gay couples.

Interviewed by Saviour Balzan on Reporter, Busuttil denied the Nationalist Party had adopted a conservative stance. Instead, he claimed there, "could have been an agreement between the gay lobbyists and the Labour Party before the general election."

Times: He’s found a principle!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013, 00:01 by Ivan Fenech

Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Our Prime Minister has found his principles. It’s just one actually, and it comes as a relief that it’s only one, as it is the result of bent thinking and a perverse line of thought that verges on the irresponsible.

When last week the Nationalist Party came up with a clear, logical and responsible policy on civil unions and gay adoptions, his pompous reaction was: “I will not compromise on my principles!”

Independent: Gay couples: This is not a 'plumbing matter' – Minister Dalli

Monday, 16 December 2013, 21:00, UPDATE 1

In her winding up speech the Civil Unions Bill, which passed through second reading stage, the Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties, Helena Dalli said this sends a clear message for those in a minority due to their sexuality, showing that legislators are ready to be on their side and the government is being consistent with promises made to the LGBT community before the election.

This is happening while the PN is taking a step backwards which shows PN leader Simon Busuttil is less liberal than his predecessor Lawrence Gonzi.

David Gold: Of course same-gender married couples can procreate (and different-gender married couples need not procreate)

17.12.2013 by David Gold

"In her winding-up speech on the Civil Unions Bill, which passed through its second reading stage, the Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties, Helena Dalli, said this [bill (D.G.)] sends a clear message for those in a minority due to their sexuality, showing that legislators are ready to be on their side and the government is being consistent with promises made to the LGBT community before the election.

"This is happening while the PN is taking a step backwards, which shows PN leader Simon Busuttil is less liberal than his predecessor, Lawrence Gonzi.

"Quoting a Catholic nun, she said the argument that gays cannot be a couple because their bodies do not fit together and they do not procreate reduces everything to a matter of 'plumbing'" (Malta Independent, 16 December 2013).

David Gold: Malta is on the verge of legalizing same-gender civil marriage under a slightly different name: civil unions

16.12.2013 by David Gold

On Monday, 16 December 2013, the Parliament of Malta approved, for the second time, a bill providing for the legalization of civil unions for all consenting adult couples, no matter their gender, no matter their sexual orientation.

The rule in the Parliament of Malta is to examine, debate, and vote on each bill a maximum of three times. If a bill has been approved once, it stands a chance of being approved a second and third time. If it has been approved twice, it is virtually certain to be approved a third time.

Times: Adoption of children by same-sex couples

Sunday, December 15, 2013, 00:01 by Christine Rossi, Mariella Catania, Elaine Mizzi, Suzanne Vella, Christian Vella, John Busuttil, Henriette Busuttil, Isabella Borg, John Caruana, Joanne Dimech, Gordon Fitz, Martha Fitz, Stefan Galea, Agatha Galea, Nadia Koppens Apap, Audrey Mercieca, Franco Mercieca, Roberta Micallef, Chris Micallef, Marica Naudi, Josette Polidano, David Polidano, Birkirkara

We are concerned about the way in which the adoption of children by homosexual couples is being quickly legislated through the Civil Unions Bill. We have no doubt that homosexuals have the potential to love children just as much as heterosexuals and can provide the basic needs, affection, discipline, and education.

However, the adoption of children is a delicate issue and can affect the lives of so many voiceless children that it cannot be rushed through. It merits a deeper discussion, even through a separate parliamentary standing committee.

Times: Brave Daley won’t inspire a gay revolution

[Excerpt from the article entitled: English football lands in a spot of trouble over fixing]
Sunday, December 15, 2013, 00:01 by James Calvert

In an ideal world, Olympic world champion 10-metre diver Tom Daley’s coming out as gay would trigger a wave of similar announcements by gay footballers, but in the macho, chauvinistic football world, sticks don’t get much more tempting than sexuality. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Olympic 10-metre diver Tom Daley announced earlier this month that he is ‘dating a man’, making him one of the most high-profile British sportsmen ever to come out.

The Commonwealth and World Champion made his announcement at the age of 19, which is particularly admirable considering he is still in the relatively early stages of his sporting career.

Parliament: Civil Union Debate [2nd Reading]

Listen to the Debate here:

22nd October, Session 65. 
Listen to the excerpt here: 22nd October 2013
[Read the transcript of Hon. Dr Dalli's speech here.]
Complete recording:

11th December, Session 102. 

Malta Today: AD slams Busuttil’s proposed gay adoption impact assessment test

Green Party insists sexual orientation should not play a part in adoption rights

Sunday 15 December 2013 - 15:02 by a Staff Reporter

"Proposed social impact assessment test fuels discrimination," AD Chairman Arnold Cassola

"Simon Busuttil's proposal for the government to conduct a social impact assessment test prior to introducing the right for gay couples to adopt fuels discrimination against gay couples," the Green party said.

"The assessment test would be reaffirming discrimination based on sexual orientation. Adoptive parents should be judged on their ability rather than on their sexual orientation," Alternattiva Demokratika (AD) Chairman Arnold Cassola said.

Malta Today: ‘Busuttil is hostage to extremist factions within PN’ – Muscat

Prime Minister says Opposition leader has taken a ‘bigoted position’ on adoptions by gay couples.

Sunday 15 December 2013 - 11:27 by Jurgen Balzan

The leader of the Opposition Simon Busuttil's hard-line stance on adoptions by same-sex couples showed that he is being held hostage by an extremist faction within the PN, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said.
Last week, Busuttil called on the government to refer the matter of gay adoptions to Parliament's family affairs committee to seek a social impact assessment before the matter is taken further.

Describing this stand as "bigoted" and "hypocritical," Muscat said that nobody has a right to adopt, insisting the right belongs to the children.

Times: Case of double standards

Saturday, December 14, 2013, 00:01 by Andrew Borg-Cardona

Didn’t Joseph Muscat say that the child’s interests must be kept paramount? What the PN is saying on gay adoption is not a million miles away.

I.M. Beck seems to have been the Prime Minister’s inspiration on Wednesday, because he has drawn himself up regally and delivered himself of a portentous dictum, much to the Beck manner born, that with his principles, he shall brook no compromises.

Times: Church supports calls for impact study on adoptions by gay couples

Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 16:10

Auxiliary bishop Charles Scicluna this afternoon said the Church supported calls for an impact study on adoptions by gay couples which took the Maltese scenario into account.

In a statement this afternoon he said the promotion of the best interest of the child should always be the paramount principle when discussing and legislating on the adoption of minors according to the constant doctrine of the Catholic Church.

Times: In the footsteps of Pope Francis

Saturday, December 14, 2013, 10:17 by Fr Joe Borg

Auxiliary Bishop Mgr Charles Scicluna’s statement criticising legislative measures for adoptions by gay couples did not make him popular with several people as comments on timesofmalta.com show! Although one could easily notice that several people comment without attentively reading the text they are commenting about. (An extensive report of the statement can be accessed here.)

On the other hand, bishops, unlike politicians, socialites and celebrities, don’t have a need to be top of the pops all the time.

Time: Edith Windsor, The Unlikely Activist

[Time Magazine Person of the Year 2013, Runner-up: 3rd place: EDITH WINDSOR]

In her ninth decade, she started a judicial odyssey, fighting a battle she never expected to wage—let alone win. Now she's the matriarch of the gay-rights movement

By Eliza Gray @elizalgray Dec. 11, 2013 8 Comments
Follow @TIME Correction appended, Dec. 16, 2013

Edith Windsor’s living room is filled with mementos of a battle she never expected to wage. Growing up gay in America, Windsor, now 84, mostly kept a low profile with her sexuality beyond a vibrant circle of friends. But when her spouse Thea Spyer died in 2009, it triggered a series of events that prompted Windsor to fight for her rights in the U.S. Supreme Court—a fight that concluded with a landmark victory for gay marriage this year.

And so the modest Greenwich Village apartment that Windsor and Spyer shared for more than 30 years now houses trophies alongside relics of the rich life they led together. Near a framed copy of the couple’s New York Times wedding announcement, there’s a photograph of ­Michelle Obama stooping to give Windsor a tight congratulatory hug. From a pile of thank-you letters she has received, Windsor pulls out a note written in green felt-tip marker by Grace, age 9, thanking her for making it possible for her parents to marry. In her hallway is a piece of artwork with a note from lesbian cartoonist Alison Bechdel that reads, “For Edith! Thank you for ­paving the way.”

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Times: Transgender Joanne gets national award

Friday, December 13, 2013, 00:00 by Sarah Carabott

Transgender hairdresser Joanne Cassar yesterday revealed that she will be awarded the Ġieħ ir-Repubblika. Her long battle with the government over the right to marry her boyfriend led to amendments being made to the Civil Code. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

Joanne Cassar, who won a long battle against the government for the right to marry her boyfriend after having gender reassignment, will today be awarded the Ġieħ ir-Repubblika.

Her case eventually led to amendments being made to the Civil Code under which transgender people are now considered as individuals of the acquired sex with full rights, including the right to marry.

Malta Today: Transgender who challenged government’s intransigence to be honoured

Joanne Cassar, whose battle against Maltese state's refusal to allow her to marry man led to amendments in marriage law, to be honoured for Republic Day.

Friday 13 December 2013 - 09:56 by a Staff Reporter

Joanne Cassar

Transgender woman Joanne Cassar, who filed a legal challenge against the Maltese government in the European Court of Human Rights for refusing her the right to marry her boyfriend after having had gender reassignment, is to be honoured in today's Republic Day Gieh ir-Repubblika ceremony.

The Labour government relinquished the case in the European Court and presented amendments to the Civil Code under which transgender people re now considered as individuals of the acquired sex with full rights, including the right to marry.

Malta Today: Republic Day • Armed Forces, transgender who challenged State, and face of anti-censorship honoured

Government honours Armed Forces maritime and air wing for role in Lampedusa crisis

Friday 13 December 2013 - 12:31 by a Staff Reporter
[Excerpt from the article]

Midalji ghall-Qadi tar-Repubblika:
Joanne Cassar

Malta is honouring Joanne Cassar in recognition of her distinguished service towards a fairer society and the common good of the people of Malta.

In February 2007, the Court upheld a challenge against a decision of the Marriage Registrar not to publish the marriage bans of Ms Joanne Cassar on the ground that her female sex was acquired through an operation and not at birth.

The Court, therefore, ordered that the bans should be published. The Government successfully challenged that decision in the First Hall of the Civil Court and in the Court of Appeal which held that the female sex which had been included in a court-ordered change in Cassar's birth certificate was only intended to protect the right to privacy of the individual but did not give rise to a right to marry a person of the male sex. Cassar took her case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Last April, the government and Cassar reached an out-of-court settlement as a result of which proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights ended. Subsequently, the right of persons to marry a person of the sex opposite to their acquired sex was legislated into the Marriage Act.

This is an important development for Malta towards which Cassar contributed through her determination and perseverance.

Times: No compromises when it comes to basic principles - PM

Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 21:08

The Opposition’s call for a social impact assessment on adoptions by gay couples did not make sense and the government’s proposal was superior in that every case would be considered on its own merits by social workers, psychologists and other experts, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said this evening.

Speaking in Parliament, he accused the Opposition doing a U-turn pointed out that two months before the election he had publicly told Times of Maltahe was in favour of gay adoptions.

Times: Australian court halts gay marriage

Thursday, December 12, 2013, 08:10 by PA

Australia's highest court has struck down a landmark law allowing the country's first gay marriages, shattering the dreams of more than two dozen same-sex newlyweds whose marriages will now be annulled less than a week after their weddings.

The federal government had challenged the validity of the Australian Capital Territory's law that had allowed gay marriages in the nation's capital and its surrounding area, starting last Saturday.

Independent: Australian court rejects law allowing gay marriage

Thursday, 12 December 2013, 06:48

Australia's highest court struck down a landmark law on Thursday that had begun allowing the country's first gay marriages, shattering the dreams of more than two dozen same-sex newlyweds whose marriages will now be annulled less than a week after their weddings.

The federal government had challenged the validity of the Australian Capital Territory's law that had allowed gay marriages in the nation's capital and its surrounding area starting last Saturday.

Independent: EU court: gays in civil pacts have same benefits

Thursday, 12 December 2013, 11:22

The European Union's highest court has ruled that in EU countries where gay couples can't marry, they must get the same benefits as married people if they enter into civil partnerships.

The EU Court of Justice ruled Thursday in the case of Frederic Hay, a French bank worker who was denied the extra leave and bonuses given to married employees after he entered into a civil pact with his male partner. At the time, French law restricted marriage to people of different sexes.

Times: PN agrees with Civil Unions Bill in principle, lists amendments


Wednesday, 11 December 2013, 18:44 , by Neil Camilleri, UPDATE 2

Seeks distinction between civil union and marriage, omission of adoptions reference

The Nationalist Party has expressed itself in favour of civil unions in principle but is demanding that the law be amended to make a clear distinction between civil union and marriage and that adoptions not be part of the law.

Speaking in Parliament this evening, PN Secretary General Chris Said said that despite having been ignored by the government when the Civil Unions Bill was drafted, the PN is committed to give the country the best possible legislation. This is why the PN is presenting a number of amendments.

Malta Today: Australia High court overturns gay marriage law

Twenty-seven couples have married since the law came into effect last weekend but they will now have their unions declared invalid

Thursday 12 December 2013 - 09:01

Australia's High Court has overturned legislation allowing gay marriage in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

The ACT parliament passed a bill in October making the territory the first part of Australia to legalise same-sex weddings but the national government challenged the decision, stating it was "inconsistent with federal laws".

Some 27 couples who married since the law came into effect last weekend will now have their unions declared invalid.

Malta Today: Bishop demands study into effect of gay adoption

Charles Scicluna: ‘There is no right to parenthood; no right to adopt. There is the right of the child to be cared for.’
Wednesday 11 December 2013 - 16:10 by Matthew Vella

Auxiliary bishop Charles Scicluna

Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna has called for an impact study that examines the way gay adoptions will affect Maltese society.

"This is a fundamental change in the way Maltese society is set up. We believe that this development is not beneficial to minors and to society in general. This is not about the rights of gay people but about creating a new type of family where the founding principle is not marriage between a man and a woman but any social partnership," the bishop said.

Malta Today: PN proposes removal of adoption clause from civil union bill

Civil Unions bill should not include legislative provisions on adoption, PN secretary-general Chris Said says

Wednesday 11 December 2013 - 23:18 by Jurgen Balzan

The Nationalist Party tonight said that it backed the civil unions bill with MP and secretary-general Chris Said saying that despite having been ignored by the government when the law was drafted, the opposition is committed to give the country the best possible legislation.

Said explained that the amendments being presented by the Opposition are two pronged, with some of the amendemnts aimed at making a clear distiction between marriage and civil unions and the rest of the amendemnts aimed removing all references to adoption from the bill.

Malta Today: Joseph’s basic principles

I agree with Muscat that allowing same-sex couples to adopt is a basic principle. But he should use the same equality yardstick in migration and citizenship.

Thursday, December 12, 2013 by James Debono

Gay people committed to the principle of equality, should see the bigger picture of a government which is very selective in its basic principles

If one believes that same-sex love and heterosexual families are equal, they should have no problem accepting a law that treats all couples equally when it comes to adopting children

Joseph Muscat is right in pointing out that by granting same sex couples this right, one is simply saying that these couples should be entitled as any other couple to adopt a child. But it will be the competent authority to decide what is in the best interest of the child.

Times: Gay sex ban to remain in India

Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 10:25 by PA

A colonial-era law criminalising homosexuality will remain in effect in India, a top court said, dealing a blow to gay activists who have argued for years for the chance to live openly in India's deeply conservative society.

The Supreme Court threw out a 2009 New Delhi High Court decision that struck down the law as unconstitutional, saying it was for lawmakers - and not the courts - to decide the matter.

Times: Church supports calls for impact study on adoptions by gay couples

Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 16:10

Auxiliary bishop Charles Scicluna this afternoon said the Church supported calls for an impact study on adoptions by gay couples which took the Maltese scenario into account.

In a statement this afternoon he said the promotion of the best interest of the child should always be the paramount principle when discussing and legislating on the adoption of minors according to the constant doctrine of the Catholic Church.

Times: Was the lesson truly learnt?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013, 09:45 by Fr Joe Borg

These last few days saw quite a number of interesting developments on the sale of citizenship scheme (or to use the official name: Individual Investor Programme). This Sunday the Prime Minister said that they could have done things in a better way, meaning I suppose that the government should have consulted and listened more. Last week the Minister of Finance was more radical. When speaking to a Committee of the EU Parliament Prof. Scicluna listed several aspects of the scheme (for which he blamed ‘Henley Something’) that could be changed in line with criticism made before the government decided to ignore all and one and got the law approved by Parliament. Prof. Scicluna’s speech outlines an agenda that could lead to a national consensus on the subject; that is, if the views of the Minister of Finance represent the views of the government.

The moral of the story is very simple: consultation and consensus should be the name of the game in such matters before the horses bolt.

Times: Plight of gay partners with no legal rights to children

Tuesday, December 10, 2013, 11:27 by Kurt Sansone

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

This evening's edition of Times Talk will discuss adoptions by gay couples with government and opposition spokesmen as well as the main players in the field.

For the past 10 years Mary* has raised two adopted children with her partner, giving them an education and the love of a family.

Independent: Maltese EP officecauses Frenchuproar through Facebook

Monday, 09 December 2013, 12:00 , by John Cordina

The European Parliament office in Malta’s decision to upload a picture featuring a gay couple on its Facebook page caused no ripples in Malta, but led to particularly virulent criticism from a conservative French news-site.

For its Facebook page, the Valletta-based EP office produces what it calls “Ewritratti,” captioned pictures through which it seeks to generate discussion and raise awareness of what MEPs actually do.

Times: This is the Church of the future

Sunday, December 8, 2013, 00:01 by Mgr Charles Vella

In preparation for the forthcoming Extraordinary Synod on the Family, Pope Francis wants to hear the good and bad news about marriage, family life, contraception, gay adoption and sexuality. For the past 50 years the preparatory documents have gone only to the bishops; but this time, Pope Francis wants to hear from lay people all over the world.

Those on the fringe of the Church and non-practising Catholics are also invited to reply to the questionnaire. This unique opportunity should be taken seriously at all levels. Several bishops’ conferences, like the English and others, put it online as soon as it was issued. Now it is widely circulated, discussed and even criticised on a diocesan and parochial level in many countries.

Times: Parties are ‘way apart on passport programme’

Busuttil says Nationalists to propose gay adoption report

Sunday, December 8, 2013, 00:00 by Herman Grech

Government and Opposition are still far away from a breakthrough on the cash-for-citizenship scheme, despite the Finance Minister’s surprising change of tone, Opposition leader Simon Busuttil said.

“After 10 days of talks we’re still very far away from reaching an agreement,” Dr Busuttil told The Sunday Times of Malta.

Times: Watch: Should gay couples be allowed to adopt?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013, 18:55

Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

The new civil unions law will now enable same-sex couples in formal unions to adopt as a couple. The Opposition want to see a local study about gay adoption before the law is introduced.

Tuesday’s edition of Times Talk will discuss the proposed Bill with government and opposition spokesmen as well as the main players in the field.

Times: Aussie court threat to gay weddings

Sunday, December 8, 2013, 09:14 by PA

Australia's first gay and lesbian weddings could be annulled within a week if a high court challenge is successful.

The hastily-arranged ceremonies held under blue summer skies in Canberra were bitter-sweet occasions for some couples who realise the court could declare their marriage void on Thursday.

Malta Today: ‘PN’s conservative gay adoption stand pushing it a step back’ – Muscat

Prime Minister insists that child’s interests should be the foremost importance and that sexual orientation should not play a role in adoption rights.

Sunday 8 December 2013 - 13:01 by a Staff Reporter

Joseph Muscat underlines that there is no right to adopt but a right to apply for adoption

Following PN's proposal for the government to conduct an national impact examination test prior to introducing the right for gay couples to adopt, the office of the Prime Minister has accused the Opposition of being a step back with its "conservative approach."

"Simon Busuttil should be reminded that under Maltese law, a gay person can already apply for adoption as sexual orientation does not play a part, testament to which is the number of adoptions by gay persons."

Times: Rainbow Support Service launched

Friday, December 6, 2013, 16:38

Photo: Reuben Piscopo, DOI

The Rainbow Support Service, a service for LGBTIQ people, has been launched by Malta Gay Rights Movement in collaboration with the US Embassy and Aġenzija Żgħażagħ.

The service will be offered from the Youth Information One Stop Shop in Valletta.

Di-ve: May we ask, Your Honour? 009 - Didn't we have enough?

4.12.2013 by Joseph M. Cachia

Your Honour, can we please now refrain from permitting any more ‘Gay Pride Parades’, though, honestly, I can’t see any ‘pride’ in publicly manifesting one’s personal and private sexual orientation? Though these people should not be demeaned, neither should they be heard! Could we now rest in peace from any ‘gay’, ‘heterosexual’ or ‘anti-gay’ public manifestations, now that our Government has seen fit to grant ‘gays’ the full and equal rights and benefits accorded to the traditionally married couples?

Times: Gay weddings allowed before ruling

Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 09:46 by PA

Australia's first same-sex weddings can take place this weekend after the nation's highest court decided to rule next week on the law allowing gay marriage in the national capital.

The Australian Capital Territory government, which administers Canberra, passed legislation in October that allows same-sex couples to wed in ceremonies equivalent to those heterosexual couples are entitled to under federal law.

Times: Duty to speak out for traditional marriage

Monday, December 2, 2013, 00:01 by Colin Garnett, Sliema

I was disappointed that Martin Scicluna referred to those who take an opposite view of same-sex marriage on grounds of their Christian beliefs as being religious bigots (November 20).

For over 50 years, I have supported the legal inclusion of the homosexual community into the full pattern of our national life, from initially arguing for the decriminalisation of homosexuality until latterly supporting the need to offer legal, financial and social protection to couples living as same-sex partners. Indeed, the civil union legislation does offer similar protection to same-sex couples as marriage does to heterosexual couples.

Indepedent: Croatians vote against same-sex marriage

Sunday, 01 December 2013, 21:27

A majority of Croatians voted in a referendum Sunday to ban gay marriages in what is a major victory for the Catholic Church-backed conservatives in the European Union's newest nation.

The state electoral commission, citing initial results, said 65 percent of those who voted answered "yes" to the referendum question: "Do you agree that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman?" About 34 percent voted against.

Independent: Refugee Commissioner speaks out on sexual orientation asylum

Sunday, 01 December 2013, 09:30

Following last Sunday’s article that highlighted the Refugee Appeals Board’s granting of asylum to a Nigerian in November on the grounds of his sexual orientation, after his first application to the Office of the Refugee Commissioner had been denied in April, Refugee Commissioner Mario Guido Friggieri has clarified that his office has granted asylum on such grounds in the past.

Mr Friggieri explains, “Asylum seekers who substantiate their fear of past or future persecution in their country of origin due to their sexual orientation, are recognised as refugees under the 1951 Refugee Geneva Convention, by this same Office.