Sunday, 27 December 2015

Pink News: Greek Parliament passes same-sex civil unions law
23rd December 2015, 9:22 AM by Nick Duffy

(Photo by LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Greece has become the latest country to recognise same-sex unions, after passing a civil partnership law.

Members of the Greek parliament voted last night on re-drafting a civil partnerships law from 2008, which explicitly banned same-sex couples.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Pink News: Malta could become first country in Europe to ban ‘gay cure’ therapy
16th December 2015, 8:07 PM by Nick Duffy

Minister Helena Dalli presented the bill for its first reading this week

Malta could become the first EU country to outlaw ‘gay cure’ therapy, under a government bill submitted this week.

The country’s government yesterday unveiled a ‘Affirmation of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression’ bill – which would outlaw so-called ‘conversion’ therapy.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Times: Unprotected sex behind record rise in HIV cases

World AIDS Day has come and gone with barely a whisper, yet Malta is this year facing a record surge in new HIV cases.
Sunday, December 13, 2015, 10:47 by Ariadne Massa
A record high of 60 people became infected with the HIV virus, according to the latest figures.
A record high of 60 people became infected with the HIV virus, according to the latest figures.
Fourteen new cases of HIV have surfaced in just two months – shooting up the total for this year to a record high of 60 people who became infected with the virus, according to the latest figures.
Casual unprotected sex is behind this record surge – 17 more cases than all of 2014 – and medics are concerned that this coupled with the fact that the fear factor associated with HIV is no longer present could lead to more people becoming infected.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Times: ‘Church must reach out. It is how we need to convert’

Gozo Bishop Mario Grech tells Keith Micallef that the recent bishops’ synod could usher in a new era for the Church.
Sunday, December 6, 2015, 11:19 by Keith Micallef
[Relevant questions are highlighted in yellow.]

The recent bishops’ synod conveyed mixed messages, amid reports of a split between conservative and progressive factions. Has the Church come out of the synod stronger or more divided?

This was a very useful exercise as the Church tried to read the signs of the times. It also tried to respond to fundamental needs of the people – the need for God. Considering the contrasting realities between secular Western society and the highly religious African communities, we managed to find ways of responding to the challenges being faced by humanity.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Guardian: Chicago's first LGBT retirement center: 'Here, people would come to my aid'

A former police station is providing one of the few places for the country’s estimated 1.5 million LGBT seniors to spend their later years together
Tuesday 1 December 2015 14.00 GMT 
Last modified on Tuesday 1 December 201514.23 GMT by Zach Stafford in Chicago

Eva Skye poses for a portrait in her living room at the Town Hall apartments in Chicago. Photograph: Alyssa Schukar for the Guardian

A soft morning light dances through the windows of one of the country’s only LGBT senior centers as George Garcia, 64, smiles and stares off, briefly letting a sweet memory rush forward.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Telegraph: ‘This is what it’s really like to live with HIV’
Theo Merz 17 NOVEMBER 2015 • 10:32AM


Charlie Sheen is expected to make a "revealing personal" announcement today, following reports in the US that he is HIV positive. If correct, the anticipated disclosure will confirm that the actor is one of 35 million people worldwide who live with the virus.

Charlie Sheen pictured in 2013 CREDIT: AP

HIV is rarely out of the news, and yet, because of continuing developments in treatment, few of us understand what life with the condition is like now.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Times: The concealed faces of HIV...
Monday, October 5, 2015, 11:25

In 1986, every haemophiliac in Malta was asked to undergo a blood test. There were no explanations, simply a devastating result – all 28 patients had been infected with two life-threatening viruses, hepatitis C and HIV. Just seven remain alive today. Ariadne Massa speaks with a survivor.
Clyde* walks with a slight limp and his eyes are bloodshot, but there are no other visible indicators of the ravages that three serious diseases have had on his body.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Times: A boy and his pet called HIV: one man’s story

Monday, October 5, 2015, 11:28 by Ariadne Massa

Leonard*: “Today I’m open about my orientation but I forever struggle with issues of self-esteem and self-worth.”

Growing up, Leonard* was weighed down under shame and sadness as he struggled to come out. He yearned for acceptance and love, but he contracted more than he had bargained for.

"At first I didn’t want to write to you, not because of the fear of being exposed but because I didn’t want you to turn me, or my story, into a piece of news. Just another over-glamorised, sensational piece of media.

Our Wedding: You had me at Hello: Christian & Clayton

Hot on the heels of their recent Civil Union, Christian Vella and Clayton Mercieca share memories from their special day with OurWedding, as well as what it means to them to be recognised as a couple by the State following the introduction of the Civil Unions Act.
November 2015

A one-time virtual chat between Christian, a research and programme officer at the International Institute on Ageing, and Clayton, a manager in investment promotion at Malta Enterprise, quickly revealed that the two had lots in common. It wasn’t until a year later, however, when Christian returned to Malta after a year-long internship in the UK, that they bumped into each other at a party.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Bay: POUT Tour LGBTIQ Film Festival
November 2015

Some of the world's best gay and lesbian theme films will be showing at the Eden Cinemas in St Julian's this week.

The Poutfest Tour 2015 is a week-long film festival with movies based on LGBTIQ storylines.

The event will start on Wednesday and will feature a series of contemporary, socially challenging and eye-opening movies.

Films to be exhibited include: Soft Lad, Dressed as a Girl, A Girl At My Door, Futuro Beach, and a collection of 10 new, award winning short films.

As part of the festival, Eden Cinemas will also be holding on-screen Skype interviews with directors and cast members.

The audience will be given the once in a lifetime opportunity to interact with them and discuss the movie and the concepts behind it.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Times: More than 60% of Maltese are OK with a gay PM

38% not comfortable with a Muslim colleague
Thursday, October 29, 2015, 12:45 by Philip Leone-Ganado

A total of 58 per cent of the population would be comfortable or indifferent to a transgender person leading the country, the survey found. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

More than 60 per cent of Maltese people would be comfortable with a gay prime minister but only 40 per cent would accept a premier who was not Christian, a new Eurobarometer survey shows.

The European Commission report, based on surveys carried out in May and June this year, says that 50 per cent of the population would also be comfortable with a transgender person leading the country.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Times: ‘Gay books’ will not be distributed in schools
Friday, October 16, 2015, 07:14 by Keith Micallef

[Click on the hyperlink above to watch the Video by Mark Zammit Cordina]

Textbooks donated to the government a few weeks ago by a gay lobby group will not be distributed to pupils, the Education Minister said yesterday.

“I don’t blame parents who have expressed concern on this matter but I want to assure them that these books have not and will not be distributed to their children,” Evarist Bartolo said.

The Education Minister made this assurance in the wake of criticism that State schools were being used for “gender indoctrination” by the Malta Gay Rights Movement. In July the MGRM donated several copies of 14 publications to the Education Ministry, focusing on different forms of families and same-sex relationships.

Independent: Gay rights: Malta in top place in Rainbow Map for first time
Monday, 5 October 2015, 16:51

For the first time Malta reached the top place on what is known as the Rainbow Map, which is a classification of countries according to the rights enjoyed by the LGBTIQ community.

Malta occupied the third place among the 49 nations listed in the classification, but moved up two places above Belgium and the United Kingdom since the last list was published four months ago, the government said in a statement.

Monday, 5 October 2015

iNews Malta: Malta kklassifikata l-ewwel fost 49 pajjiż fil-qasam tad-drittijiet ta' persuni LGBTIQ
17:07 | 05.10.2015

Pajjiżna kompla javvanza ’l fuq fl-indiċi fil-qasam tad-drittijiet tal-persuni LGBTIQ għall-2015 maħruġ minn ILGA-Europe fejn għall-ewwel darba Malta rnexxielha titla’ fl-ewwel post minn fost 49 pajjiż differenti.

F’aġġornament li ħarġet ILGA-Europe aktar kmieni llum dwar l-andament ta’ pajjiżi differenti fil-qasam tal-libertajiet ċivili, jirriżulta li Malta rnexxielha tavvanza żewġ postijiet oħra ’l fuq biex mit-tielet post li kisbet f’Mejju, issa tinsab fil-quċċata f’temp ta’ erba’ xhur. Dan ifisser li fl-aħħar xhur pajjiżna rnexxielu jaqbeż kemm lill-Belġju kif ukoll lir-Renju Unit li kien ilu jokkupa l-quċċata għal diversi snin.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Times: Dating app blamed for HIV surge
Sunday, October 4, 2015, 07:52 by Ariadne Massa

Grindr, a men-only dating app used for casual sexual encounters, is one of the factors fuelling the record surge in new HIV cases this year, according to Mater Dei Hospital’s infection specialist.

Forty-six new HIV cases were registered in the first nine months of this year – three more than all of 2014 – and 90 per cent of these were gay men, mainly aged between 30 and 50.

“People are having unprotected casual sex, and these geosocial apps, where you can seek an anonymous partner close by… are contributing to it. This is a phenomenon being witnessed across Europe and the US,” Dr Charles Mallia Azzopardi said.

Times: Majority of clinic visitors did not use condoms
Saturday, October 3, 2015, 00:01 by Ariadne Massa

Just over half of those visiting the GU Clinic at Mater Dei Hospital this year played Russian roulette and indulged in unprotected sex, while another 35 per cent admitted to only “sometimes” using a condom, according to the latest figures.

Health Parliamentary Secretary Chris Fearne said in the first eight months of this year, 1,942 patients visited the Genitourinary Clinic.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Medical Daily: New HIV Vaccine Proves Successful In Phase 1 Human Trial
Sep 4, 2013 10:55 AM By Susan Scutti

Canadian researchers have developed the first genetically modified, whole-killed HIV vaccine, which has successfully passed Phase 1 human trials. 
Robert O'Dell, US Navy

A vaccine for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has proved successful in a Phase 1 clinical trial with no adverse effects in human patients, Sumagen Canada Inc. and Western University of Ontario announced today. The vaccine, which was developed by Dr. Chil-Yong Kang and his team, is the first genetically modified, whole-killed vaccine to be approved for testing in humans.

Times: Homosexuality not a disease
Wednesday, August 26, 2015, 10:48 by Ramona Depares

Patrick Pullicino’s opinion piece on today’s issue of the newspaper (read here: shocked and disgusted me. Masquerading as an objective analysis of ‘gay conversion’ – I thought we had all agreed this is not actually a thing? – Mr Pullicino’s piece reads like it is taken straight out of a medieaval Malta, when witch-doctors ruled the day and rhino testicles were used to cure anything from the common cold to gangrene.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Weddings-Malta: Stylish Civil Unions & Honeymoons
September 2015

Stylish Civil Unions & Honeymoons
On the 10th and 11th October 2015 at Stylish Civil Unions & Honeymoons you will meet gay-friendly vendors who are ready, willing and able to make wedding dreams come true whether its bride-bride or groom-groom! In addition, you will be able to save money too.
Civil unions carry the same needs as traditional weddings and the Stylish Civil Unions & Honeymoons is an excellent opportunity for attendees to meet face-to-face with many businesses that provide the professional services you need in planning this special occasion.
Our exhibitors will be offering planning ideas, free samples, and much more! – from gowns, suits, planners, caterers, florists, cake companies, rings, venues, invitations, photographers, entertainers, financial and legal consultants, transport, honeymoon destinations and other professional wedding services, you will find everything you are looking for to prepare for the big day in style.
Many of the exhibitors will have special packages available for this event.
To enquire about stand prices and to receive a copy of the floor plan please contact Chrystelle Doublesin on +356 22911061 or email
CLICK HERE to know more about the carefully selected exhibitors for the 2015 edition of Stylish

Stylish Civil Unions and Honeymoons will be held in the Grand Ballroom of the Hotel Phoenicia, entrance from Great seige road.
Hotel Phoenicia
The Mall

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Malta Today: 1980s ban on gay blood next taboo in line of fire

The issue was recently raised by the government’s LBTIQ consultative committee in an action plan that proposes to address the ban, originally introduced because men having sex with men had a higher risk of HIV infection than heterosexuals. 

29 August 2015, 7:30am by Martina Borg

The lifetime ban on sexually active gay men remains a controversial aspect of medical norms in a society that is otherwise now geared towards more equal rights for gay people, and scuttling the prejudice they face in daily life.

The issue was recently raised by the government’s LBTIQ consultative committee in an action plan that proposes to address the ban, originally introduced because men having sex with men had a higher risk of HIV infection than heterosexuals.

Monday, 24 August 2015

MGRM: Celebrating Difference
Monday, August 10, 2015, 00:01 by Gabi Calleja

In his opinion piece of August 4, Ivan Fenech reacted to the donation of a number of educational resources by MGRM to schools. Most of these resources involved storybooks that are aimed at kindergarten and primary school children but they also included library books for adolescents and a teacher training DVD.

Fenech’s claim was that such storybooks were confusing to children and an assault on traditional models of the family. However, in no way did he substantiate his views.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

BBC News: HIV flushed out by cancer drug
31 July 2015, By James GallagherHealth and science reporter, BBC News website

HIV can be flushed out of its hiding places in the body using a cancer drug, researchers show.

The cornerstone of treatment, anti-retroviral therapy, kills the virus in the bloodstream but leaves "HIV reservoirs" untouched.

The study, published in PLoS Pathogens, showed the drug was "highly potent" at reactivating hidden HIV.

Pink News: Comment: Why we shouldn’t judge African countries by their anti-gay laws
12th August 2015, 9:39 AM by Oliver Kasin

Oliver Kasin feared coming out in Malawi - but felt liberated when he did (Oliver Kasin)

Oliver Kasin writes for PinkNews about coming out in Malawi and the reaction he received from its people.

Malawi doesn’t do particularly well in the press in relation to its LGBT rights. In fact, it was only in April 2015 that another law called the “Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Law” came into effect, a law that stigmatises the LGBT community by defining what marriage is and strengthening the notion that cohabiting relationships should be between a man and woman only.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Times: No child’s fairyland
Tuesday, August 4, 2015, 00:01 by Ivan Fenech

Two of the books donated to government schools by the Malta Gay Rights Movement.

When things reach a point where you cannot send your children to school without fear that they may have their minds confused, you know that something has gone terribly wrong with this country’s education system.

Last week, as it has been saying it would do for months, the Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM) presented books to Education Minister Evarist Bartolo for distribution in government schools, including kindergartens.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Times: Male prostitution seen as a major cause in HIV increase
Sunday, July 26, 2015, 12:01

The number of HIV cases confirmed so far this year has already reached the annual average, with drug abuse, male prostitution and migration highlighted as major causes.

Figures compiled by the Health Ministry show that while an average of 30 HIV cases is diagnosed each year, 31 cases have already been confirmed since January.

BBC News: Why my own father would have let IS kill me
  • 23 July 2015
  • From the sectionMagazine
'Taim' in Lebanon
The group that calls itself Islamic State (IS or Isis) has a special punishment for gay people - it kills them by throwing them off high buildings. Taim, a 24-year-old medical student, tells the story of how he only escaped this fate by fleeing from Iraq to Lebanon.
In our society, being gay means death. When Isis kills gays, most people are happy because they think we're sick.
I first realised I was gay when I was about 13 or 14. I too thought homosexuality was a sickness and I just wanted to feel normal. During my first year of college, I started having therapy for it. My therapist told me to tell friends that I was going through a "difficult phase" and to ask for their support.
I'm of Muslim background but my ex-boyfriend was from a Christian background and I had a bunch of Christian friends, whom I used to hang out with. In 2013 I got into a fight with a fellow student, Omar - who later joined Isis - about hanging out with Christians. A friend of mine told him to go easy on me because I was going through a hard time, having treatment for being gay. That's how people knew. I think my friend's intention was noble but what happened as a result ruined my life.
Still from an IS video
Still from an IS video

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Times: Committee to consider whether gay men should donate blood
Friday, July 24, 2015, 12:12

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

A technical committee has been appointed to consider and make recommendations on whether gay men should be allowed to donate blood.

Parliamentary Secretary for Health Chris Fearne said the decision was taken following a request by the LGBTIQ community for the ban on blood donations to be lifted.

He said the technical team will consider what risk existed and how it could be mitigated. A political decision would be taken after the report is concluded.

Same Same AU: WATCH: Gay couple attacked by mob in Ukraine
Fri 24th Jul, 2015 in International News

A magazine in the Ukraine was filming one of those “how will people react” videos with a gay couple in Kiev – and it started well, but things took a dangerous turn when a mob of angry young men descended.

Last week a video showing reactions to a pair of young guys holding hands in Russia went viral – see it here if you missed it – so the Ukraine’s ‘Bird in Flight’ magazine was keen to see how a local couple would fare.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Same Same AU: What happens when two guys hold hands in Russia
Tue 14th Jul, 2015 in International News

An experiment by a Russian TV channel looking at Moscow citizens’ reactions to a pair of guys holding hands on the street has had some disturbing results.

We sometimes hear about Russian leaders making anti-gay statements, and in Saint Petersburg there’s a ‘promoting homosexuality’ law against mentioning same-sex couples around children.

But does a regular citizen of Moscow also detest gay people? It appears too many do.

“My heart was beating loudly as I watched the video,” said a YouTube commenter. “It wasn’t too long ago that Americans would’ve acted the same way. Keep spreading the word and people will change.”

Watch what happens when two guys walk around holding hands in Putin’s Russia.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Pink News: Here is what Martin Luther King told a teen struggling with his sexuality
13th July 2015, 3:58 PM by Nick Duffy

Martin Luther King addressed homosexuality in an advice column

Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. once answered a question from a boy who was struggling to cope with his sexuality.

The rights hero openly discussed homosexuality while writing an advice column for Ebony Magazine in 1958 – while the government was still openly discriminating against LGBT people.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

YouTube: I'm HIV positive, do you dare to touch me?

Published on 22 Jun 2015

Finnish guy Janne Antin wanted to show what it is like to live with HIV-related stigma and at the same time raise awareness of HIV. Would you have touched?

Janne halusi tempauksella hälventää HIV:hen liittyviä ennakkoluuloja ja samalla lisätä tietoisuutta siitä, millaista HIV:n kanssa on elää. Olisitko sinä koskettanut?

Lue lisää/read more:

UOM ICT: HIV Disease Progression Modelling using Phase Tye Survival Trees

Final Year ICT Student Projects Exhibition
Faculty of ICT, University of Malta
July 2015

by Marija Gafà, Supervisor: Dr Lalit Garg

[Click on the image to enlarge]

Saturday, 4 July 2015

MGRM Seminar: Life Experiences of LGBTIQ Senior Citizens

30.6.2015 by MGRM

Seminar: Life Experiences of LGBTIQ Senior Citizens
16 July 2015 – Le Meridien Hotel – 9am to 12pm

As part of an EEA/Norway NGO Grant project ‘Enhancing capacity to advocate for LGBT rights’ MGRM sought to meet with senior members of the LGBTI population in Malta to better understand their life stories.

The project aimed to help inform the movement, policy makers and service providers (both public and private) and the wider population about what it is like to be a part of Malta’s elderly LGBTI population which is often invisible.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Malta Today: Conservative silence on LGBTIQ issues?

The landmark civil union and gender identity bills have been hailed as revolutionary, and welcome, human rights breakthroughs for Malta by many. But how curious is it that there hasn’t been a concerted backlash to these key developments from conservative quarters, TEODOR RELJIC asks?

26 June 2015, 8:00am by Teodor Reljic

It seems as though Malta has become a progressive gender-equality mecca over the last couple of years. At least that’s what recent key LGBTIQ developments would have you believe. The passing of the civil unions bill, celebrated to colourful fanfare at St George’s Square in the spring of 2014, was seen by its supporters as a step towards ensuring Malta is in line with the ‘rest of the modern world’ – overly flexible as that term may be – and it had something of an edge to it since it also included adoption within its remit.

BBC News: Turkey Pride march hit with police water cannon

[Click here to watch the video]

Turkish police have fired water cannon, rubber pellets and tear gas at a gay pride event in Istanbul.

Earlier, organisers had posted a warning on Facebook that the local authority had banned the march because it coincided with the holy month of Ramadan.

Ben Bland reports.

Euro News: Istanbul Gay pride quashed by riot police, rubber bullets and water cannon

Pink News: Congratulations! Supreme Court brings marriage equality across the US
26th June 2015, 3:05 PM by Nick Duffy [69 reader comments]

The US Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right – paving the way for weddings in all 50 states.

The highest court in the US made a surprise early decision today on same-sex marriage, after hearing ‘mega-case’ Obergefell v. Hodges.

A ruling had not been expected until Monday from the nine Supreme Court justices, who are attempting to resolve a ‘split’ in lower courts on the issue – and as such could decide on the issue once and for all for the entire country.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Times: Pastor’s wife tried to ‘cure disgusting’ homosexual
Sunday, June 21, 2015, 12:45 by Ivan Martin

A 2011 protest outside the River of Love premises. On the left is River of Love evangelist Gordon Manché.

A gay man is claiming he was told his sexual orientation was “disgusting” and could be cured by a psychologist with ties to the Christian fellowship River of Love.

The 28-year-old, who asked to remain anonymous, said he had attended two counselling sessions with warranted psychologist Mariella Blackman when he came out to his friends and family seven years ago.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

YouTube: Transmission and Prevention of HIV

The modes of transmission of HIV are numerous. This animation describes the common and less common ways in which HIV can be transmitted from one person to another. While HIV is most commonly spread from an infected person through vaginal or anal intercourse, as well as intravenous blood exposure through the sharing of needles, there are practices and measures that you can take to help minimize the risk of becoming infected.

Friday, 19 June 2015

iNews Malta: Tibgħat lill-Ministru taqra l-Bibbja minħabba l-gays
Victor Vella | 20:49 | 16.06.2015

Waqt il-laqgħa ta' konsultazzjoni mas-soċjetà ċivili li saret illejla f'Kastilja fis-sensiela 'Gvern li Jisma'', u li fiha ħadet sehem il-Ministru Helena Dalli, spikka intervent ta' mara anzjana f'battibekk mal-Ministru dwar il-liġi tal-unjoni ċivili u d-drittijiet tal-persuni gay u lesbjani.

Il-mara, b'pitazz f'idejha, bagħtet lill-Ministru taqra l-Bibbja, waqt li ddikjarat li hi kienet taf persuna li kien kunjomu 'Gay' u lil dan tgħidx x'kienu jagħmlulu. Il-Ministru wieġbet għal dan billi qalet li meta kienet żgħira 'gay' kienet tfisser xi ħadd ferħan.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Pink News: Watch: Robin Williams stars as gay man in trailer for final film Boulevard
18th June 2015, 7:00 PM by Nick Duffy [reader comments]

Boulevard is the last film to star Robin Williams

A trailer has been released for Boulevard – the last film completed starring late actor Robin Williams.

The iconic Birdcage actor died by suicide in August last year, just weeks after the film Boulevard was shown to positive reviews at Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

Malta Today: Gay ‘conversion therapy’ could become a criminal offence

Helena Dalli says LGBT+ consultative council has been asked to draft proposals on the criminalisation of 'conversion therapy"

16 June 2015, 8:48pm by Tim Diacono

Civil liberties minister Helena Dalli (Photo: Ray Attard)

Civil Liberties Minister Helena Dalli today said that the government 's consultative council on LGBT+ rights has been requested to draft proposals in lieu of a future Bill that would criminalise 'conversion therapy' of LGBT+ people.

"Such therapies harm people and breach their human rights," Dalli said in the latest public consultation session 'Gvern li Jisma'. "People should be allowed to live as they were born and many Western countries are starting to realize how damaging conversion therapies can be,"she said.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Times: Policy on trans, gender variant and intersex students unveiled
Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 14:54 by Ivan Martin

State schools should not impose particular uniforms or facilities on gender variant students but allow them to choose a uniform according to whichever sex they identified with, according to a new government policy.

Unveiled today, the Trans, Gender Variant and Intersex Students in Schools Policy instructs government schools to allow students transitioning from one gender orientation to another, to wear a uniform congruent with their own gender identity.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Times: Ban therapy to convert gays, says MGRM head - ministry looks at legislation
Monday, June 15, 2015, 08:50

The Evangelical practice of turning gay men and women straight or urging them to suppress their sexual orientation is harmful and should be banned, according to the head of the Malta Gay Rights Movement, Gabi Calleja.

Ms Calleja said the practice had been outlawed in several countries and she hoped Malta would follow suit, because this could have negative effects on those made to undergo such unorthodox therapies.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

TouTube: Human Rights Above Religion - Tooji

Times: Preacher: I know how to cure the ‘mentally ill’ gays
Sunday, June 14, 2015, 08:30 by Ivan Martin

A controversial US Evangelist believes homosexuality is an illness, civil unions do not really exist, and he believes gays can be cured.

Bishop Tom Brown was a special guest at evangelist church River of Love last Friday evening. In the US, he has been accused of spreading hate speech by a reputable civil rights group several times since 2011.

His church is listed alongside such unsavoury organisations as the American Nazi Party, The All Whites Network and Aryan America. Mr Brown, however, shrugs it off saying he was not consulted prior to appearing on the list.

Like many evangelists, Mr Brown has some controversial views about homosexuality. However, this weekend he is in Malta to preach, and among other things will explain how he believes it is a full-blown mental disorder.

The World Health Organisation and the American Psychological Association both insist there is no evidence that sexual orientation is caused by anything at all and most attempts to find any causes have been largely inconclusive.

Confronted with research findings that suppressing sexual orientation can have serious negative health implications, Mr Brown was dismissive.

“You’re just making this up,” he said, before giving a series of unreferenced statistics, including how gay men live shorter lives, are more depressed, and more likely to kill themselves than any other minority.

Listen to some of his comments [by click on the link] above. More in The Sunday Times of Malta and the e-paper on Premium.

Guardian: Gay in Putin's Moscow: why the city is pinker than you think
LGBT nights are easy to find and Grindr reaches into the heart of the Kremlin itself. But two years after the law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’, can being gay in the Russian capital really be much fun?

Saturday 13 June 2015 07.00 BSTLast modified on Saturday 13 June 201515.43 BST
Chris MichaelJudith Soal and Maeve Shearlaw in Moscow [Comments 284]


Russian men kiss in Moscow in 2012, a year before the 2013 law banning ‘gay propaganda’. Photograph: EPA

“Moscow is like a small European city in the mid-90s,” says Anton Krasovsky. “Everybody knows everybody. Everybody knows who’s gay, even if nobody’s out.”

Well, not nobody. In 2013, when the Duma was debating a new law outlawing “gay propaganda”, Krasovsky was a beloved Russian TV personality, working for a news channel he’d co-founded called Kontr TV. At the end of a wide-ranging discussion on the proposed legislation, Krasovsky said, on air: “I’m gay. And I’m just as much a human being as President Putin, or Prime Minister Medvedev, or the members of the Duma.” Less than a week later, Krasovsky was no longer working for Kontr TV, the clip was removed from the archives and his face had been scrubbed from the website.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Times: Colour and humour in Gay Pride parade
Saturday, May 30, 2015, 15:59

City Gate in Valletta was transformed into a vibrant sea of colours this afternoon as the annual Gay Pride celebrations kicked off.

Today's activity was the annual march, with many of those present carrying balloons and posters - some with good humoured messages. Some wore extravagant costumes, replete with leotards and fishnet tights.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

YouTube: The Face of HIV/AIDS: Then and Now

Published on 27 May 2015

The Face of HIV / AIDS: Then and Now
For more videos, visit
Follow me on Twitter @iamtylercurry

Times: Woman cleared of defiling her underage lesbian lover
Friday, May 29, 2015, 12:09 by Matthew Xuereb

A woman was this morning cleared of defiling her 16-year-old lesbian lover when they were caught by the minor's mother kissing in the car.

The court ruled that there was no evidence to prove that the 28-year-old woman from Marsa, whose name cannot be published by court order, had defiled an underage girl who she had been dating for two weeks.

ABC News: Reduced Child Abuse Sentence Causes Uproar in Argentina
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — May 18, 2015, 5:40 PM ET [1 Comment]

Two Argentine judges are under fire for reducing the sentence of a convicted child abuser on the grounds that his 6-year-old victim had suffered earlier abuse and therefore had already been traumatized.

In the newly publicized 2014 ruling, the judges cut the sentence of Mario Tolosa, a sports club vice president, from six years to 38 months. They ruled that his acts should not be considered "gravely outrageous" in legal terms because the boy already "was making a precocious choice" of his sexuality, apparently a reference to homosexuality.

Times: Irish gay marriage vote defeat for all humanity - Vatican
Thursday, May 28, 2015, 00:01 by Reuters

A woman glances at a window decorated in favour of same sex marriage in central Dublin, Ireland.
Photo: Reuters

The Irish vote to allow same-sex marriage was a “defeat for humanity”, a senior Vatican official said yesterday in the first high-level reaction from the Holy See to last week’s landmark referendum.

“Not a defeat for Christian principles, it was a defeat for humanity,” Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said in comments quoted by Vatican Radio. “I was very saddened by this result.”

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Irish Independent 'I laughed along with the homophobic chatter - then my son came out'
22/05/2015 | 02:30 by 22/05/2015 | 02:30 Tom Hickey

Hickey with Gabriel Byrne during his time in college as president of the Trinity College Philosophical Society.

Homosexuals didn't exist when I was growing up. I never knowingly met one, never really thought about them until I came across the story of Oscar Wilde. To say I was shocked was putting it mildly: I simply couldn't comprehend two men having sex with one another. And lesbians? Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather.

As I grew older, I noticed a few effeminate characters who I assumed - without ever knowing definitively - were homosexual. Television played a large part in how I viewed them. These were guys with exaggerated mannerisms and squeaky voices. Queers in other words. How we laughed at one of our classmates who certainly fitted the description.

BBC News: Gay marriage Yes vote shows how much Republic of Ireland has changed
23 May 2015

There were emotional scenes as referendum votes were counted in Dublin

The BBC's Shane Harrison looks at how the Republic of Ireland's vote in favour of legalising same-sex marriage caps an extraordinary week for the country.

The Republic has become the first country in the world to introduce same-sex marriage in a popular vote, just days after the Prince of Wales visited Mullaghmore in County Sligo where his great-uncle Lord Mountbatten was murdered by the IRA in 1979.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Independent: MCAST celebrates day against homophobia with mass, discussion and play
Tuesday, 19 May 2015, 08:20

[Last week] MCAST celebrated the day against homophobia by holding Mass at the MCAST Chapel and by organising a play and discussion.

The play, written by Ray Mangion and directed by Marina Sceberras and Elysia Marie Farrugia, was held in the canteen area at MCAST Main Campus, and aimed at provoking people to think about how attitudes and language impact those who are different and prevent them from being themselves.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Malta Today: Ireland appears set to vote in favour of gay marriag

National polls indicate country would vote in favour of gay marriage by margin as much as two-to-one
17 May 2015, 9:52am by a Staff Reporter

Irish voters are set to back the introduction of gay marriage by a margin of as much as two-to-one in next week’s referendum, a series of polls indicated.

Long considered as one of the most socially conservative countries in Western Europe, support for gay rights has surged in Ireland in recent decades as the power of the Catholic Church collapsed.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Malta Today: Historic leap in equality as Malta rises to third place in ILGA ranking

Malta Gay Rights Movement coordinator, Gabi Calleja: "That Malta is now at the forefront of the struggle for LGBTIQ equality is something that encourages us to continue in our advocacy efforts"
10 May 2015, 8:21pm by Matthew Vella

The ILGA Rainbow Europe map 2015

The ILGA 'Rainbow Map' 2014 - click on the magnifying glass above to see the map clearly

Malta has shot up to a historic third ranking in the International Lesbian-Gay Association's 'Rainbow Europe' league, for having advanced in LGBTI rights - namely with the introduction of civil unions and gender identity laws that made worldwide headlines.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Times: Malta singled out for progress in LGBT issues
Monday, May 11, 2015, 09:08

ILGA-Europe has singled out Malta for fast progress in granting equality to trans and intersex people in the latest Rainbow Europe scoreboard.

In a statement, it said that steadfast, committed leadership and visible equality trailblazers are necessary ingredients for advancing LGBTI equality.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

MGRM: Pride March Invite 2015

11.5.2015 by Gabi Calleja, Coordinator, MGRM

We invite you to this year’s Pride March which will bring to a close this year’s Pride activities. The PRIDE MARCH will take place on May 30thgathering at City Gate in Valletta at 3.00pm. This year’s march is being organised in collaboration with AXM.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Pink News: Cyprus government approves civil partnerships
6th May 2015, 3:06 PM by Naith Payton
The Cabinet has finally approved the long-awaited bill.

The government in Cyprus has approved a bill allowing for same-sex civil partnerships.

The long-awaited bill has gained the approval of the Cabinet, and now passes to the Parliament where it will be voted on.

The bill gives couples in civil partnerships all the benefits of marriage – with the exception of joint adoption.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

LGBTI+ Gozo: Launch

LGBTI + Gozo, is a new NGO formed in April 2014, for the purpose of promoting and raising awareness regarding the LGBTI+ community in Gozo. [Facebook]

[Click on the image to enlarge.]

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Times: Crossing of many colours
Friday, May 1, 2015, 00:01 by Silvan Agius

In his Talking Point (April 24), Fr Richard-Nazzareno Farrugia expressed his distaste at the inaugural event of the rainbow crossing in Victoria that marked the first anniversary since the enactment of the Civil Unions Act, which crossing was dedicated to the United Nations’ Free & Equal campaign for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people.

The reason? He asserts that the schoolchildren who participated in the event were being subjected to an “imposition of an ideological cultural agenda” by the State and that their crossing over the rainbow was tantamount to a forced participation in an “LGBTI pride parade”.

Times: Rules of crossing the road
Friday, April 24, 2015, 00:01 by Fr Richard-Nazzareno Farrugia

I remember as a young boy reading on Id-Denfil – if my memory serves me right – the rules on how to cross the road. I was taught to always cross a street on a zebra crossing. Society and my educators, even in this respect, taught me to be responsible for my life and that of others, even when crossing the road.

Watching a group of kids crossing a road over rainbow colours seems to be a happy and delightful scene, better than the usual and odd black-and-white stripes on the road.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Reuters: Pope met French Vatican envoy nominee at center of gay speculation
World | Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:59am EDT, PARIS, REUTERS/MAX ROSSI

Pope Francis looks down as he leads the weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican April 22, 2015.

(Reuters) - Pope Francis has held a private meeting with France's nominee as ambassador to the Holy See, the French government said on Wednesday in the latest twist in a months-long stand-off over the Vatican's failure to confirm his posting.

Paris nominated the government's head of protocol, Laurent Stefanini, for the post on Jan. 5 but has still not heard back from the Vatican - a delay that French and Italian media have said is due to his homosexuality.