Friday, 31 May 2013

Independent UK: Pakistani women marry in Britain's first Muslim lesbian partnership

Lesbian couple took vows at Leeds registry office earlier this month before immediately applying for political asylum, it is claimed

Two former students from Pakistan are believed to have become the first Muslim lesbian couple to marry in a civil ceremony in Britain.

Rehana Kausar, 34, and Sobia Kamar, 29, took their vows at a registry office in Leeds earlier this month before immediately applying for political asylum, it was claimed.

Relatives of the couple said the women, who studied in Birmingham, had received death threats both in the UK and from opponents in their native Pakistan, where homosexual relations are illegal.

Independent UK: Blue movie wins the Palme D’Or – but will Britain get to see it uncut?

Blue is the Warmest Colour triumphs at Cannes

A film described by some as a graphic lesbian drama and by others as a moving love story won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival.

Click here or on 'view gallery'

Blue is the Warmest Colour by the Tunisian-French director Abdellatif Kechiche was the overwhelming favourite to win the award. The film about a lesbian relationship between two French teenagers features an explicit six-minute sex scene between actresses Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos.

Independent: Same-Sex Marriage
Tuesday, 21 May 2013, 08:26
Żminijietna – Voice of the Left, Richard Mifsud

In reaction to the Public Policy Insitute's (TPPI) statement that Malta is not ready for same-sex marriage, Żminijietna - Voice of the Left believes that Maltese people are not inferior to people in other countries which are introducing same-sex marriages.

Malta Today: US Boy Scouts vote to end ban on gays

The Boy Scouts of America organisation votes to welcome openly gay scouts, ending a divisive ban.
Friday 24 May 2013 - 08:44

The Boy Scouts of America has said it will allow openly gay youths to join the organisation while maintaining a ban on adult leaders, after a vote at its annual meeting in Texas.

The resolution will go into force on January 1 next year.

Sixty-one percent of the estimated 1,400 delegates to the meeting in Grapevine, Texas voted to end the ban that for decades has barred open homosexuality in the movement.

Malta Today: Agreement reached in UK over gay marriage

Plans to legalise gay marriage in England and Wales are to proceed unimpeded in Parliament after ministers reached agreement with Labour.
Tuesday 21 May 2013 - 08:43

The gay marriage bill in the UK has been saved after Opposition leader Ed Miliband agreed at the last minute to vote against an amendment to extend civil partnerships to heterosexual couples that had prompted government warnings that it would derail the entire measure.

The Labour leader, who had planned to abstain in a Commons vote on the amendment, agreed to change tack after the government chief whip Sir George Young sent a message to his opposition counterparts that the Tory leadership was facing defeat.

Malta Today: No token lady | Claudette Buttigieg

The ambitious Nationalist MP Claudette Buttigieg knows the competition is stiff, but the PN must face change. As for Eurovision? ‘Let the gay times begin’
Wednesday 22 May 2013 - 09:00 by Miriam Dalli

All is easier said than done when Claudette Buttigieg has to face the likes of MP Beppe Fenech Adami for the deputy leadership post.

Many were the voices from inside the Nationalist Party that suggested they needed a woman at the helm after suffering an electoral thumping from 35,000 voters who had switched to Labour.

With Joseph Muscat pledging to have the most "feminist government" Malta has ever seen, can a woman holding the PN's deputy leadership provide the perfect platform for the party to portray itself as representative of a 21st-century society?

Malta Today: Busuttil agrees with updating Church-State agreement on marriage tribunals

Church against gay marriage but it will wait for civil unions bill before commenting further.
Tuesday 21 May 2013 - 12:03 by Jurgen Balzan

Simon Busuttil (right) with Archbishop Paul Cremona (centre) and auxiliary bishop Charles Scicluna. (Photo: Photocity)

Archbishop Paul Cremona intends taking a cautious stance over forthcoming legislative changes that will sanction civil unions for gay partners, and the Prime Minister's intention to remove the Ecclesiastic Tribunals' authority on marriage annulments.

Cremona today met new PN leader Simon Busuttil at a courtesy meeting where both leaders were quizzed about church-state relations.

Malta Today: TPPI report: Alternattiva Demokratika reiterates full equality stand

Greens: TPPI’s civil unions report takes presumed standpoint of a heterosexual society and disregards the feelings of the gay community
Monday 20 May 2013 - 11:41 by a Staff Reporter

Alternattiva Demokratika, the Green Party, has questioned the main conclusion of the Today Public Policy Institute's report on the civil rights of LGBTI persons, which said the introduction of gay marriage was premature for the Maltese islands.

"Alternattiva Demokratika is sceptical about the main conclusion of this report, which called on the government to take the necessary and long overdue action to remedy the discriminatory position of the gay community, but then it does not believe that the institution of marriage should be extended to homosexual couples because Maltese society is not yet ready for such a bold move," Angele Deguara, AD Spokesperson for Social Policy and Civil Rights, said.

Malta Star: Independent think-tank highlights same sex rights
Saturday, 18 May 2013, 00:05

Malta's only independent think-tank, The Today Public Policy Institute, today published a report entitled “Same Sex: Same Civil Entitlements” in which it highlights the real and manifest inequality that currently exists between homosexuals and heterosexuals in Malta.

The report states that there has been a neglect by Parliament of the plight of sexual minorities in Malta, a vulnerable group in society, consisting of homosexuals, bisexuals, trans-genders and inter-sex persons, as well as same-sex partners who live together and set up home together, who currently enjoy no proper rights or recognition. The situation has been allowed to fester for too long.

Di-ve: Malta behind in equal rights for LGBT citizens
Last Updated 17 | 05 | 2013 at 00:10
Article news

The ILGA-Europe Rainbow Map (Index) for 2013 as well as the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) survey report indicates that Malta is a long way from claiming to provide equal rights and a safe environment for its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens.

The ILGA-Europe Map provides an overview and comparison of the legal situation of the 47 Council of Europe member states based on legislation in the fields of equality and non-discrimination, family, bias motivated speech and violence, legal gender recognition, freedom of assembly, association and expression and asylum. The Map places Malta somewhere in the middle with a score of 35% were first placed UK scored 77% and the lowest, was scored by Russia at 7%.

Di-ve: Quarter of gay people across Europe face discrimination
Last Updated 17 | 05 | 2013 at 10:47
Article By: news

A quarter of gay people have been subjeced to attacks or violent threats in the past five years, a major EU poll established. Poorer and younger homosexual respondents said that they were more likely to gace discrimination due to their sexuality.

The EU LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) survey asked lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender respondents whether they had experienced discrimination, violence, verbal abuse or hate speech on the grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It showed worrying trends of unreported discriminations and increasing abuse and violence.

Independent: Gay Marriage a 'Step too Far' for Malta
Monday, 20 May 2013, 08:19 , by John Cordina

Malta should ensure that same-sex couples enjoy the same rights of heterosexual couples, but gay marriage may be a step too far for Malta, the Today Public Policy Institute says.

Instead, and for that reason, the think-tank is calling for the introduction of civil partnerships and civil unions. However, it also insists that same-sex couples should be able to adopt children.

Independent: Marriage Equality, a Distorted View
Monday, 20 May 2013, 10:00 , by Gabi Calleja

In her opinion piece entitled Same-sex marriage causes fundamental harm to society (TMIS, 12 May), C. Gwendolyn Landolt makes a number of unsubstantiated predictions on the impact the introduction of marriage equality would have on Maltese society.

The only element of truth in the article is that the introduction of marriage equality would entail a redefinition of the institution of marriage to encompass a union of two people, irrespective of their gender.

Malta Today: Buttigieg sees Eurovision experience as platform to gay community

Claudette Buttigieg, candidate for the PN deputy leadership post for party affairs, interviewed by Sunday newspaper Illum.
Sunday 19 May 2013 - 09:01 by a Staff Reporter

Claudette Buttigieg

In an interview with Sunday newspaper Illum, PN deputy leader candidate Claudette Buttigieg speaks about her decision to contest the election.

Buttigieg speaks about her humble past in farming and growing up being active in different committees at University as Secretary of the University Students Council (KSU) and as an Equal Rights Officer.

Malta Today: Martin Scicluna lambasted by gay lobby

The Malta Gay Rights Movement hit out at the conclusions of a report on same-sex marriage: ‘completely unacceptable to deny human rights to anyone, irrespective of the level of preparedness or maturity of a country’.
Sunday 19 May 2013 - 19:00 by Jurgen Balzan

Martin Scicluna

Human rights are an entitlement and have nothing to do with a country's level of maturity, said Malta Gay Rights Movement Coordinator Gabi Calleja.

Calleja was reacting to the Today Public Policy Institute (TPPI) recommendation to introduce civil unions for same-sex couples instead of same-sex marriages.

Malta Today: ‘Human rights are not a matter of maturity’ – gay rights campaigner Gabi Calleja

MGRM reacts to 'study' by Today Public Policy Institute claiming that introducing gay marriage would be “one step too far for Malta”.
Monday 20 May 2013 - 10:30 by Jurgen Balzan

MGRM coordinator Gabi Calleja says all things being equal, the TPPI should have given due regard to children residing with same-sex civil partners.

Human rights are an entitlement that have nothing to do with a country's level of maturity, said Malta Gay Rights Movement Coordinator Gabi Calleja, in a reaction to the Today Public Policy Institute's (TPPI) recommendation to introduce civil unions for same-sex couples instead of same-sex marriages.

Last week, TPPI director Martin Scicluna said introducing gay marriage would be "one step too far for Malta", adding that it would be "premature and impolitic."

Malta Today: Hollande signs gay marriage bill

French president signs into law a controversial bill making the country the ninth in Europe, and 14th globally, to legalise gay marriage.
Saturday 18 May 2013 - 08:45

French President Francois Hollande has signed a gay marriage and adoption bill into law, a day after the country's Constitutional Council threw out a legal challenge by the conservative opposition.

Hollande, trying to turn the page on months of bitter opposition to the measures, said it was "time to respect the law and the Republic".

Malta Today: Same-sex marriage deniers: an invitation to resistance

I hope the discursive power of the 'same-sex marriage deniers' gets the resistance it deserves.
Blog Friday, May 17, 2013 by Michael Briguglio

Just as more and more countries around the world are introducing same-sex marriages, and just as more and more leaders including socialists (Hollande), conservatives (Cameron) and democracts (Obama) are joining progressives for the introduction of this right, Malta's own Public Policy institute has said that Malta is not ready for same-sex marriage, and that it would be 'one step too far' to introduce it. Which reminds me of those who some years ago said that Malta is not ready for divorce, anti-censorship legislation, and so forth.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Di-ve: Civil unions should be introduced, but not gay marriage - TPPI
Last Updated 17 | 05 | 2013 at 14:31
Article By: news

Civil unions for same-sex couples are of great to benefit to Malta and should be introduced but gay marriage is “one step too far at this time”, the Today Public Policy Institute held this morning.

Speaking during the launch of a report entitled Same Sex: Same Civil Entitlement on the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, Chairman of TPPI Martin Scicluna held that the parliament has been ignoring same sex couples for far too long and the introduction of a new legal relationship and civil union for same sex couples would play an important role in increasing social inclusion and abolishing discrimination of gays, bisexuals and transgenders. “The benefits of acknowledging same-sex relationships through a civil union would be of great benefit to Malta,” Mr Scicluna insisted.

Baylorlariat: Viewpoint: We should encourage stable relationships for all — at least civically
March 28, 2013 Filed under Opinion, Points of View Posted by Web Editor

Gay marriage is relatively low on my priority list when it comes to national political issues. However, in the spirit of open inquiry and to foster debate here at Baylor, a Christian university, I’d like to share my evolving views on this issue.

For the longest time, I was a standard anti gay-marriage conservative.

Malta Today: Gays: ‘Malta still a long way away from providing equal rights and safety’

Forthcoming bill legislating civil unions for same-sex couples would shift Malta into new generation of countries championing equal rights.
Friday 17 May 2013 - 08:05

The IDAHO kiss-in in 2011

Malta has a long way to go before it can claim to provide equal rights and a safe environment for its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens, gay rights activists said in message marking International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).

The island ranked on the 35-percentile mark of European countries surveyed by the ILGA-Europe (International Lesbian-Gay Association) based on equality laws and non-discrimination: the map places Malta somewhere in the middle with a score of 35% where the highest, the UK scored 77% and the lowest, 7% was scored by Russia.

Malta Today: Think tank’s dampener: civil unions of great benefit but gay marriage ‘step too far’

Today Public Policy Institute says same-sex marriage is ‘one step too far for Malta as this time’
Friday 17 May 2013 - 11:47 by Jurgen Balzan

Civil unions are fine, but it may be too early to have gay marriage, TPPI said.

The benefits of recognising same-sex relationships through a civil union scheme at par with marriage, would be considerable for Maltese society, the TPPI think-tank said today.

Speaking during the launch of a report entitled Same Sex: Same Civil Entitlements, Martin Scicluna, chairman of the Today Public Policy Institute, said the creation of a new legal relationship for same-sex couples would play an important role in increasing the social acceptance of gays, bisexuals and trans-genders and removing discrimination.

Malta Today: Malta becomes signatory to declaration to combat discrimination against LGBT persons

Malta becomes signatory to declaration calling on the European Commission to combat discrimination against LGBT persons.
Thursday 16 May 2013 - 19:19 by a Staff Reporter

Civil liberties minister Helena Dalli

Civil Liberties Minister Helena Dalli among the EU ministers attending an international conference on the emancipation of LGBT persons.

For the first time this year Malta will be officially commemorating the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. According to Dalli, this day will continue to be commemorated annually.

Ministers from a number of EU Member States today signed a joint declaration calling on the European Commission to adopt a comprehensive policy approach on the European level on LGBT issues, namely on combating discrimination and violence in all spheres of life.

Malta Today: Malta ranks 18th in European ‘rainbow map’ of gay rights

Rainbow Europe map published by the International Lesbian Gay Association, sees the UK topping the scoreboard with 77%
Thursday 16 May 2013 - 18:45 by James Debono

Malta stands in 18th place in a ranking of 49 European countries indexed by ILGA-Europe in its 'Rainbow map', which assesses the laws of each country which impact on the LBGTI community.

The Rainbow Europe map, published today by the International Lesbian Gay Association, sees the UK topping the scoreboard with 77% on a checklist of laws that include rules on non-discrimination, gender recognition and hate speech. Next in line are Belgium (67), Sweden, Spain, Portugal (65%) and France with 64 percent.

Times: ‘Malta not providing equality of rights’
Friday, May 17, 2013, 00:14

Malta has a long way to go before it can claim to provide equal rights and a safe environment for citizens of all sexual orientations, the Malta Gay Rights Movement and NGO Aditus said.

In a statement to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO), the groups cited an ILGA-Europe Map released this month that provides an overview and comparison of the legal situation of the 47 Council of Europe member states.

Times: Updated: PN, FZL reiterates position against homophobia
Friday, May 17, 2013, 09:35

The Nationalist Party condemned all forms of discrimination against gay and transgender people and promised to continue working against all forms of discrimination.

In a statement issued on the occasion of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, being celebrated today, the PN said that last year, the Nationalist government had introduced important amendments to continue fighting discrimination.

Times: Malta should introduce civil unions, not gay marriage - TPPI
Friday, May 17, 2013, 11:20 by Christian Peregin

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

Malta should introduce civil unions for same-sex couples because marriage is "one step too far for Malta at this time", according to the Today Public Policy Institute.

It would be "premature and impolitic" to introduce gay marriage at this time, the think-tank concluded.

Independent: EU Survey reveals many gays live in fear
Friday, 17 May 2013, 10:27

The European Union is calling for action to counter discrimination and violence against homosexuals after a major survey revealed many gays are living in fear across the 27-nation bloc.

Morten Kjaerum of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights says action is needed "to break down the barriers, eliminate the hate and create a society where everyone can fully enjoy their rights."

YouTube: Imagine A World Where Being "Gay" The Norm & Being "Straight" Would

Published on 28 Apr 2013

If heterophobia was actually real

Malta Today: Fear and loathing in school: 91% report negative experience because they are gay

Experiences of over 93,000 LGBT people from all across the European Union recorded in largest ever hate crime and discrimination survey
Friday 17 May 2013 - 08:00 by Matthew Vella

MGRM's anti-bullying poster, part of a campaign the gay rights movement took to Maltese schools in 2012

The EU's largest LGBT hate crime and discrimination survey ever conducted shows that many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people cannot be themselves in their daily lives.

Many hide their identity and live in isolation or even fear. Others experience discrimination, and even violence, when being themselves, the survey carried out by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), shows.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Public Consultation with Hon. Helena Dalli

5th June 2013, 18:30
Ambassadors Room, Castille

Reserve a seat by calling: 8007 2207

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Media Invitation: Same Sex: Same Civil entitlements


You are cordially invited to the launch of the latest report by The Today Public Policy Institute,
Malta's only independent think-tank,
on "Same Sex: Same Civil entitlements".

The media launch will take place at the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry Council Room 
at 1100hrs on Friday, 17th May 2013. 

The Lead Author of the report, Martin Scicluna, will present the report and take questions.

"Same Sex: Same Civil Entitlements" examines the means of improving the civil rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-gender and Inter-sex
(LGBTI) persons in Malta by ending discriminatory treatment and, specifically considers the two options of either introducing civil unions or same-sex marriages.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Pink News: Russia: Tortured and killed gay man was ‘raped with beer bottles’
12 May 2013, 1:31pm by Joseph Patrick McCormick

A gay man from the southern Russian city of Volgograd who was tortured to death in an apparent hate crime, was sexually assaulted with beer bottles, and had his skull “smashed with a stone”, authorities said on Sunday.

The man was raped, beaten and killed during the attack, which was referred to as a homophobic hate crime

The death of the man has concerned activists, who say prejudice is becoming more concentrated due to anti-gay laws.

The naked and beaten body of the 23-year-old man was found in the courtyard of an apartment building in the city on Friday morning, a spokeswoman for regional investigators told AFP.

The report suggests that he had suffered multiple injuries to his body, including to his genitals, and that he had been sexually assaulted with beer bottles.

Independent: Same-Sex Marriage causes fundamental harm to society
Sunday, 12 May 2013, 08:00 , by C. Gwendolyn Landolt

In March this year, as a visitor from Canada to Malta, I was greatly impressed by your beautiful country, its magnificent harbours and cultural history. It seemed to me that Malta is blessed not only with beauty, but also with a strong and stalwart population.

I was concerned, however, to read an editorial in this newspaper, recommending that Malta legalize same-sex marriage. If this should occur, based on Canada’s experience where same-sex marriage was legalized in 2005, Malta will be profoundly changed.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Pink News: US doctors: New deadly strain of gonorrhea potentially ‘worse than AIDS’
7 May 2013, 6:18pm by Scott Roberts

Cases of gonorrhea among gay and bisexual men rose by more than a third in 2011

A new antibiotic-resistant form of gonorrhoea has the potential to be worse than AIDS because of its lethal nature, according to US doctors.

“This might be a lot worse than AIDS in the short run because the bacteria is more aggressive and will affect more people quickly,” Alan Christianson, a doctor of naturopathic medicine, told CNBC.

HO41 has not yet killed anyone, or spread outside of Japan – but action is needed in advance, to prevent a global spread of the strain.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Times: Less is more – go back to basics
Sunday, May 5, 2013 by Michela Spiteri

At the weekend – and most any day – I’m happiest on my sofa. Every so often, overcome by a profound sense of couch potato guilt that comes with having a son and having missed out on Heritage Malta open day, or yet another Birgu, Mdina, Notte Bianca, Milk or Strawberry Festival, I throw myself out of the house with a mild sense of dread schoolchildren must feel when they’re riding to school on Monday morning.

Which is how we ended up at the Milk Festival last Sunday. We spent more time driving around looking for a parking place than we did driving there or at the actual festival at any rate. And when we did eventually park, we were clearly in breach of traffic regulations. And yet, having made the effort, I’ll be damned if I wasn’t going to get out of the car and milk it for all it was worth.

Times: Junior minister removed in Italy after comment on gays
Saturday, May 4, 2013, 16:12

A junior minister for equal opportunities in Italy was removed from her post today less than 24 hours after being sworn in to the new coalition government, after she said gays invited discrimination by "ghettoising" themselves.

The abrupt departure of Michaela Biancofiore to another ministry was a fresh reminder of just how delicate Prime Minister Enrico Letta's fledgling left-right coalition is.

Times: Seven questions for the PN’s next leader
Saturday, May 4, 2013 [Excerpt from the article]

A joint reception was held last night by the four contenders in the PN leadership election, which will be held today. From left: Raymond Bugeja, Simon Busuttil, Francis Zammit Dimech and Mario de Marco. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Nationalist councillors go to the polls today to elect a new leader. But where do the four candidates stand on ideological and policy issues? Bertrand Borg finds out.


Gay marriage and adoption? Gay marriage? Civil union? Or none? Where do you sit along this spectrum?

Bugeja: Civil union, and subject to expert medical advice in the child’s interests, adoption.

Busuttil: Marriage should remain reserved for a man and woman. But short of that, we should definitely legalise same-sex partnerships, giving adequate rights to the gay community. As for adoption, this is already possible.

De Marco: Civil union.

Zammit Dimech: I am not in favour of gay marriage but understand and respect the fact that our society needs to relate to new needs, and I believe we need to relate to all, irrespective of their orientation.

Civil union appears to be the right option for our society at this stage.

Adoption should be allowed provided that as in all cases of adoption, the best interests of the child prevail over all other considerations.


Times: Tory voters put off by ‘gay marriage’
Thursday, May 2, 2013 by AP

One in four Conservative voters are more likely to back other parties in this week’s local elections because of Tory support for gay marriage, according to a new Britsh poll.

A ComRes survey of voters in today’s elections found 26 per cent of people who voted Conservative in the 2010 general election are less likely to do so because of plans to legalise same-sex marriage.

Just nine per cent said they were more likely to vote for David Cameron’s party.

The survey, carried out for the Coalition for Marriage, also says that one in four Conservative 2010 voters is voting Ukip today.

The campaign’s director, Colin Hart, said the poll shows “ripping up the current definition of marriage is a real turn off” for voters and that the poll is a “real blow for the PM”.

Times: Ulster same-sex marriage bid fails
Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by AP

A bid to legalise same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland has failed.

Unionists voted down a motion at Stormont’s Assembly which called on the power-sharing ministerial Executive to legislate.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK without marriage rights for gay couples.

Independent UK: NBA basketball player Jason Collins becomes most high-profile openly gay American sports star after 'years of misery'

In a magazine article he wrote: 'I kept telling myself the sky was red, but I always knew it was blue'

American basketball player Jason Collins on Monday became the first active athlete in a major sport in the United States to come out as gay, surprising fans and possibly opening the door for other closeted sporting celebrities to step into the sunlight.

Collins, who most recently played for the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics – two teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA) – makes the revelation in a personal essay which will appear in the next issue of Sports Illustrated. It begins: “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.”