Friday, 16 August 2013

CNN: Protests, boycott calls as anger grows over Russia anti-gay propaganda laws
August 4, 2013 -- Updated 1810 GMT (0210 HKT)
By Laura Smith-Spark and Phil Black, CNN

Could Russia arrest gay athletes?

  • NEW: USA Track and Field says the IAAF has guaranteed athletes won't be hit by the law
  • There are concerns that gay athletes, visitors at the Sochi Winter Olympics may be at risk
  • Protesters plan to dump Russian vodka to protest the new anti-gay propaganda law
  • International Olympic Committee: Russia assures it that the law won't be applied
Moscow (CNN) -- An international backlash against Russia's anti-gay propaganda law is gathering speed, from calls for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia to gay bars in Los Angeles planning "vodka-dumping" protests.
A number of bars worldwide have also stopped serving Russian vodka to protest Russia's stance on homosexuality.
The furor follows concern sparked by the Russian Parliament's overwhelming support for a new law banning "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations around minors."
Implemented last month, after President Vladimir Putin signed it into law, it bars the public discussion of gay rights and relationships anywhere children might hear it -- and has been condemned by Russian and international rights groups as highly discriminatory.

Independent: 'Parliament should legislate for full LGBT rights' - Communist Party
Thursday, 01 August 2013, 11:52

The Communist Party of Malta is against a referendum on the question of civil union as proposed by the leader of the Muslim Community in Malta.

“The Party says that civil unions are a basic civil right and parliament has the obligation to introduce it. A referendum on this question could see the intervention of religious organisations trying to influence the voters as happened in the question of divorce, although this attempt through religious pressure failed miserably,” the party said in a statement.

The Communist Party of Malta appeals to the Consultative council on LGBT to follow other progressive countries and revise its policy on civil union and instead propose same-sex marriage.

Malta Today: Civil unions and the Imam - of rights and referenda
Wednesday 31 July 2013 - 11:14 by Raphael Vassallo

Should civil rights be subject to a referendum? And who decides what constitutes a civil right? RAPHAEL VASSALLO looks at the contents of a can of worms opened by Imam Mohammed El Sadi, who has proposed a referendum of same-sex unions.

Mohammed El Sadi: Those who do not agree with civil unions, in spite of their large numbers, are inefficient, voiceless and have no material presence

A proposal by the spiritual leader of Malta's Muslim community has cast a spotlight on a thorny and as yet unresolved issue: whether civil rights affecting minorities - in this case, same-sex couples - should be subject to the will of the majority in the form of a national referendum.

Writing in The Times yesterday, Imam Mohammed El Sadi questioned whether government enjoys an electoral mandate to forge ahead with a bill to regulate civil unions, despite having convincingly won an election on the strength of a manifesto promising precisely such legislation.

Times: Imam calls for referendum on civil unions
Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 10:05

Imam Mohammed Elsadi

The leader of the Muslim Community in Malta this morning called for a national referendum on civil unions.

In an opinion published in today’s Times of Malta, Imam Mohammed Elsadi refers to the bill that would introduce civil unions for same sex couples, to be presented in Parliament in September.

The bill, he said, would probably get Parliament’s approval because both the Labour and Nationalist parties promised such unions in their electoral manifestos.

Malta Today: ‘Who am I to judge gay people?’ – Pope Francis

‘If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?’ Pope Francis says.
Monday 29 July 2013 - 18:27

Pope Francis has returned from his first overseas trip since being elected in March.

As he returned from his first overseas trip since being elected Pope, Pope Francis said it was not for him to judge if a person was homosexual.

Speaking to reporters on a flight back from Brazil, he reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church's position that homosexual acts were sinful, but homosexual orientation was not.

Times: Pope says gays must not be judged or marginalised

'No' to women priests is definitive
Monday, July 29, 2013, 14:53 by Reuters

Pope Francis, in some of the most conciliatory words from any pontiff on gays, said they should not be judged or marginalised and should be integrated into society, but he reaffirmed Church teaching that homosexual acts are a sin.

In a broad-ranging 80-minute conversation with journalists on the plane bringing him back from a week-long visit to Brazil, Pope Francis also said the Roman Catholic Church's ban on women priests was definitive, although he would like them to have more leadership roles in administration and pastoral activities.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Malta Today: Teasing the boundary between male and female | LIMINAL

New photography book lifts the lid on Malta’s transgender community.
Wednesday 10 July 2013 - 10:58 by Teodor Reljic

A labour of love over the past few years, Gilbert Calleja's photographic expose of the Maltese transgender community - LIMINAL - will be launched on July 10 at the Birgu Local Council.

Designed and published by Ede Books, Calleja's 'documentary' journey into the lives of transgender people in Malta aims to steer clear of sensationalism, presenting its subjects in their domestic and social environments with a clear-eyed, objective approach, one that's informed by Calleja's earlier work.

iNews Malta: "Lejn Soċjetà Inklussiva" - Ministru Dalli
10:52 | 27.06.2013


Il-Ministru Helena Dalli tat rendikont tal-ħidma tal-Ministeru tagħha fil-qasam tad-drittijiet ċivili fl-ewwel mitt jum ta’ gvern ġdid. Bit-tema “Soċjetà Inklussiva” fl-isfond tal-Ministru Dalli, hi fissret il-ħidma li kienet bdiet tgħamel biex il-kundanna għal diskriminazzjoni kontra persuni LGBT tkun ukoll parti mill-kostituzzjoni Maltija. Qalet li dwar dan kienet diġa’ saret laqgħa mal-Kummissarju tal-Liġijiet. Eventwalment tressqet mozzjoni privata mill-Oppożizzjoni dwar is-suġġett u għalhekk issa jidher li hemm qbil dwar din il-bidla.

Ma setax jonqos li ssir referenza għal ftehim barra l-Qorti ma’ Joanne Cassar, il-persuna transgender li issa ngħatat id-dritt li tiżżewweġ. Fissret kif issa l-każ Cassar huwa magħluq darba għal dejjem u żiedet tgħid li tinsab fi stadju ta’ kumitat il-liġi li għandha twassal biex każi bħal dawn ma jkunux ripetuti.

Referenza wkoll għat-twaqqaf tal-kunsill konsultattiv dwar id-drittijiet tal-persuni LGBT.

Filwaqt li rrreferit għal studju li sar minn aġenzija internazzjonali, fejn persuni tkellmu dwar ibbuljar u suwiċidji fl-iskejjel, qalet li fl-iskejjel primarja u sekondarji iridu jitneħħew l-isterjotipi.

Ritratt: Ray Attard

Independent: Pope says he won't judge gay priests
Monday, 29 July 2013, 16:39 , by Nicole Winfield, Associated Press

Pope Francis reached out to gays on Monday, saying he wouldn't judge priests for their sexual orientation in a remarkably open and wide-ranging news conference as he returned from his first foreign trip.

"If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" Francis asked.

His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, signed a document in 2005 that said men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests. Francis was much more conciliatory, saying gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten.

BBC News: Pope Francis: Who am I to judge gay people?
29 July 2013 Last updated at 20:05 GMT
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Pope Francis made the comments on his return flight from Brazil. [Click here to watch the video.]

Pope Francis has said gay people should not be marginalised but integrated into society.
Speaking to reporters on a flight back from Brazil, he reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church's position that homosexual acts were sinful, but homosexual orientation was not.
He was responding to questions about whether there was a "gay lobby" in the Vatican.
"If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?"
He also said he wanted a greater role for women in the Church, but insisted they could not be priests.

Malta Today: Interview: Much harder to change a culture than a law | Helena Dalli

As the minister responsible for social equality, civil liberties and consumer affairs, Helena Dalli finds herself tasked with changing both laws and national perceptions. No prizes for guessing which part of her job is the easier
29 July 2013 - 09:32 by Raphael Vassallo

Equality minister Helena Dalli

Almost five months after an election, it is perhaps a little late to be talking about a 'honeymoon period' for the new government.

But when it comes to portfolios which simply didn't exist in previous administrations - such as civil liberties, which makes up the bulk of Helena Dalli's ministry, alongside social equality and industrial relations - it is perhaps only fair to allow a little more time for the incoming minister to find her feet.

Yet paradoxically, the same previously non-existent ministry has been among the Labour Cabinet's most active to date. It was first off the block to introduce long-overdue reforms, such as a legal amendment to allow transsexuals the full legal rights associated with their acquired gender. It has also drawn up a bill to regulate civil partnerships for same sex couples to be presented after the summer recess; and in keeping with the same overall theme, the Social Equality Ministry will shortly be presenting a gender identity bill.

Di-ve: Why Can’t Gay Men Donate Blood?
24 | 07 | 2013 at 08:40 by: news

IGGY FENECH asks some very difficult questions about what might be one of the most outright discriminatory segregations of our time.

Gay men can’t give blood.

It is a controversy that not many know about, and one that has divided gay men and science for a long time. Truth be told, it is a subject that is very hard to be objective about, particularly because of its neither-black-nor-white nature and, no matter what angle is taken, a counterargument can always be brought forward.

All Out: Crisis in Russia

We've got a powerful plan to fight back against Russia's violent crackdown on gay people. Can you chip in to build a fighting fund for love and equality?
Russia crisis: President Putin's crackdown against gays and lesbians is exploding across the nation. The government is arresting innocent people at Pride marches. Coming Out, one of Russia's biggest gay organisations, lost their trial and now faces a big fine that could close them down.
Days after Coming Out lost their trial, President Putin passed a law that makes it illegal to say the word "gay" in public. Dozens of courageous Russians protested against the law, and were dragged away by police.
It won't be easy to stop the crackdown in Russia. But we've put together a powerful plan to fight back against Putin and his bullies. If 3,000 All Out members chip in a donation in the next 5 days, we can get started. Can you join in?
Please click here to make a secure donation:

Independent: Threat to human rights undermines consultative council's role
Thursday, 11 July 2013, 21:31

In a statement, the Consultative Council for LGBT rights said that while members of the council were selected on the basis they are involved in promoting rights related to lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender persons, the organisations that form part of the council enphasise that human rights pertain to every individual.

Therefore, the consultative council is against any form of threat to the fundamental right of any individual, be it immigrants or anyone else for that matter.

Independent: Push Backs: Drachma LGBT withdraws from consultative council
Thursday, 11 July 2013, 12:00

Drachma LGBT said that it will be withdrawing from the LGBT Consultative Council as an organisation until matters are clarified regarding the migrant push backs.

Drachma LGBT is a group of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender people who meet to pray together.

It's the second NGO, after Aditus, to have withdrawn from the council in a matter of days.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Malta Today: 12-month jail term for Mellieha revenge attack

Court of appeal revokes conditional discharge and imprisons man for 12 months over revenge attack.
Thursday 4 July 2013 - 15:09by Chris Mangion

Alan Gauci, 37, of Mellieha, has been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, after the court of appeal revoked a previous three-year conditional discharge sentence.

Magistrate Carol Peralta had heard how Gauci ran over Australian national Jeremy Lalic after the victim had called him 'gay'.

TVM: 12 month jail term for Mellieha man
TVM News 04-07-2013

Alan Gauci, 37, of Mellieha has been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment after the Attorney General appealed from a previous sentence .

Magistrate Carol Peralta had heard how Gauci had ran over Australian national Jeremy Lalic after the victim had called him ‘gay’. The incident kicked off at 4:30 am, inside Zep’s Bar in Mellieha bar and when 40 minutes later he saw the Austalian, he hit him with his car. In 2004, Magistate Peralta had handed Gauci a three year conditional discharge.

Malta Today: LGBT consultative council condemns threats against human rights
Consultative council on gay rights says human rights are universal, voices opposition to threats against migrants.
Friday 12 July 2013 - 09:37 by Miriam Dalli

LGBT council chairman Cyrus Engerer

The consultative council set up by the government to tackle LGBT rights has condemned threats to fundamental human rights, including those enjoyed by migrants.

The council was reacting to a pushback attempt carried out by the government on Tuesday this week.

In a statement, the council said such threats undermine the role being carried out by the consultative council, even though the council specifically tackles LGBT rights.

Malta Today: NGO resigns from LGBT Council in protest
Aditus condemns the Minister for Civil Liberties’ silence "in the face of potential human rights violations of the worst kind". 
Wednesday 10 July 2013 - 09:33 by James J. Piscopo

Aditus Foundation, a human rights organisation, has resigned from the Government's LGBT consultative council with immediate effect.

Aditus took this decision following yesterday's developments where the Maltese Government decided to send back to Libya 45 migrants, only to be stopped by the European Court of Human Rights.

Independent: Jail term for man who injured Australian who called him ‘gay’
Thursday, 04 July 2013, 13:01

The Criminal Appeals Court presided by Mr Justice Michael Mallia has changed a conditional discharge ruling to a 12-month jail term to a 37-year-old man of Mellieha who had caused serious injuries to an Australian.

The incident had started in a bar after the Australian had offended the Maltese by calling him “gay”.

L-Orizzont: Tajru għax għajru ommosesswali - Mellieħi ntbgħat 12-il xahar ħabs
5.7.2013 ?

Alan Gauci ta’ 37 sena mill-Mellieħa ntbgħat il-ħabs mill-Qorti tal-Appell Kriminali pre­seduta mill-Imħallef Michael Mallia li bidlet sentenza ta’ libertà kundizzjonata għal dik ta’ 12-il xahar ħabs wara li kkaġuna feriti gravi fuq Awstraljan wara li kien tajru bil-karozza. L-aċċident kien beda’ f’ħanut tax-xorb fejn jidher li l-Malti kien ħa għalih għax l-Awstraljan għajru omosesswali. Alan Gauci kien illiberat bil-kundizzjoni li ma jagħmilx reat ieħor fi żmien tliet snin mill-Maġistrat Carol Peralta. Il-każ seħħ wara li nqala’ argument f’ħanut tax-xorb fil-Mellieħa meta Awstraljan qagħad jiddieħaq bil-Malti, li dan aktar tard rah fit-triq u tajru bil-karozza.

Qorti tal-Appell Kriminali: Il-Pulizija Vs Alan Gauci
[Mellieħa incident: Australian run over for calling someone gay]

Appell Nru. 472/2012

Aqra is-sentenza kollha hawn [PDF].



Seduta ta' l-4 ta' Lulju, 2013
Appell Kriminali Numru. 472/2012

Alan Gauci

Illum 4 ta’ Lulju, 2013


Rat l-akkuza dedotta kontra l-appellat [detentur tal-karta tal-identita` numru 340476 (M)] quddiem il-Qorti tal-Magistrati (Malta) bhala Qorti ta’ Gudikatura Kriminali talli fil-21 ta’ Marzu, 2004 ghall-habta ta’ l-4.00 a.m. fil-Mellieha bil-hsieb li joqtol jew li jqieghed il-hajja ta’ Jeremy Lalic f’periklu car, wera dan il-hsieb b’atti esterni u ta bidu ghall-ezekuzzjoni ta’ dan id-delitt, billi saq vettura ta’ l-ghamla Sunbeam Imp bin-numru tar-registrazzjoni ZWE 113 fid-direzzjoni tieghu, liema delitt ma giex esegwit minhabba xi haga accidentali u ndipendenti mill-volonta` tieghu.

U aktar talli fl-istess data, hin, lok u cirkostanzi, volontarjament ikkaguna feriti ta’ natura gravi fuq il-persuna
ta’ Jeremy Lalic, skond kif iccertifikat Dr. Maryanne Caruana MD ta’ l-Isptar San Luqa.

Aqra is-Sentenza kollha hawn [PDF]. 

Ara s-Sentenza moghtija mill-Magistrat Carol Peralta hawn. [PDF].

Times: Man in 'Mellieha mentality' controversy lands in jail
Thursday, July 4, 2013, 12:48

A Mellieha man was sent to jail by an appeals court today after he was last year controversially conditionally discharged when he ran over an Australian for making gestures implying he was gay. At the time, the Magistrates' Court had said that he had taken into account the “mentality” of Mellieħa residents who considered such a jibe to be “unacceptable”.

Alan Gauci, 37, had been convicted of causing serious and permanent injury to Jeremy Lalic on March 21, 2004.

Times: Dozens arrested in gay pride parade in Russia
Saturday, June 29, 2013, 18:16

Russian police have arrested several gay rights activists and Russian nationalists who confronted them at a rally declared illegal under a new law against "gay propaganda".

Officials in St Petersburg deemed that today's rally, which took place in a space designated for public demonstrations, violated the law.

The statute prohibits public displays of homosexuality.

About 200 nationalists also gathered at the rally, chanted slogans such as "Sodomy will not pass," and threw eggs and rocks at the gay-rights activists, who numbered about 40.

The state-run Itar-TASS news agency quoted an unnamed police official as saying police arrested dozens of people, including eight nationalists.

Russia's parliament passed a law banning "gay propaganda" earlier this month. St Petersburg was one of several cities to pass similar laws at local level before that.

Independent: 2 major court victories for gay marriage in US
Wednesday, 26 June 2013, 22:37

The U.S. Supreme Court handed two major victories Wednesday to advocates of gay marriage, ruling that same-sex couples should get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples and clearing the way for the resumption of same-sex marriages in California, the most populous U.S. state.

The long-awaited rulings, both by 5-4 margins, do not mean that gay marriage will be permitted throughout the United States; most states still ban it. But they build on the momentum of the gay rights movement, with its broad shift in public attitudes, a dozen states adopting gay marriage and a president, Barack Obama, who has spoken openly in support of gay rights.

Independent: Transgenders will soon be given right to marry
Thursday, 27 June 2013, 11:39 , by Duncan Barry

Update 2

Now that the second reading of amendments to the Civil Code has been approved in parliament, the bill is set to start being discussed in committee stage on Monday, according to Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties Helena Dalli.

Through the Civil Code amendments, transgenders may marry partners of their choice according to their 'acquired' gender and will not find difficulties from the director of the public registry when applying for the publication of marriage banns after having their gender reassigned.