Friday, 27 December 2013

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.

"The MGRM would like to categorically assert that no secret agreement, as implied by Simon Busuttil, existed between the Labour Party and the so called gay lobby," a press statement issued today by the movement said.

The statement divulged that the MGRM held meetings with all three political parties prior to the election and even sent out a questionnaire requesting the parties to state their position on a number of issues that affect the LGBT community. According to the MGRM, though, the Nationalist Party provided no response to the questionnaire "despite numerous requests".

Furthermore, the questionnaire responses showed that it was the other two parties that were in favour of any legislation that would make possible third party and second parent adoptions.

The MGRM said that at the time that the PN was in government, LGBT representatives met with various ministers and that several consultation meetings were held with then minister Chris Said to discuss the Gender Identity Bill.

"The PN Government chose to ignore MGRM's position and opted for a cohabitation bill that granted only minimal rights, a bill that was not endorsed by the LGBT community," the statement said.

The MGRM said that any current discord between the movement and the PN is based on its opposition to the granting of equal recognition before the law to same sex couples and their children, as well as their call for a social impact assessment before gay couples are allowed to be considered as prospective adoptive parents.

"The portrayal of gay people and their loving relationships as harmful to children is discriminatory and deeply offensive and it is the root cause of the disagreement between the so called 'gay lobby' and the PN," it said.

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