Malta at forefront of progressive push for LGBTI rights - IDAHOT 2016
Today, on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), the Party of European Socialists is celebrating progress spearheaded by progressive governments in the fight for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex LGBTI rights in Europe.
Malta in particular has been a leading light in moving towards equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, as highlighted by the European NGO ILGA-Europe in its annual ranking. In 3 years, the Labour government, led by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat completely modified the antidiscrimination and hate crimes law to fully protect Maltese people against homophobia and transphobia. The government adopted a civil partnership law equivalent to marriage, including adoption rights.
In terms of gender self-determination the government has also adopted the most progressive law in Europe by removing any medical requirement and recognizes the self-determination of transgender people as the only motivation required for legal gender recognition.
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said “I am proud that my government has transformed the rights of LGBTI people in our country. As progressives, we could not allow our LGBTI citizens to be discriminated against any longer. They deserved better and I am full of pride that we have granted them the legal protections that they deserve.”
Sergei Stanishev, PES President said: “I am very proud of our PES members parties for the progress that they have made for LGBTI people across Europe. The struggle for equality between all peoples is at the core of our progressive fight.”
In 2015/16, Governments lead by, or involving, PES members or sister parties delivered important reforms for LGBTI people: Among others, Slovenia (recent law for same-sex couples), Ireland (marriage, adoption and gender identity), Portugal (adoption and fertilization treatment), Greece and Cyprus (civil unions). The civil union adopted last week in Italy is another important step towards more equality in Europe.
Zita Gurmai, PES Women President added: “Defending the rights of all people, is not just something PES Women supports and puts forward today on IDAHOT. Our continuous cooperation be it on International Women’s Day with the Equal Pay day video #paymelikeamen with transgender Erika Ervin or in fact finding missions on refugees proves that as a political family our priority is to be the voice of all people across Europe and the world regardless of gender or sexual orientation.”
Aurélien Mazuy, President of Rainbow Rose (LGBTI network of PES), declared “We are very pleased to see all these great achievements for LGBTI people delivered by our political family in different European countries. Malta is a wonderful example of political will to change LGBTI situation in partnership with civil society. We also welcome the very recent adoption of an LGBTI paper by the S&D group in the European Parliament, giving a clear direction to further improve situations of LGBTI persons all over Europe.”