Malta, Europe

Male homosexuality has been legal in Malta since 1973. There were no laws against lesbians. Malta gained its independence from Great Britain in 1964, but is still a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. In 1990, Malta submitted an application for full membership in the European Union (EU). The islands have strong ties with neighbouring Libya. Malta is considered to be a very social conservative country, due in part to the nation's strong affliation with the Roman Catholic Church. Officially, 97% of its population is Roman Catholic, although recent surveys on Church attendance have seen a drastic drop in figures in recent years. The Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM), founded in 2001, is a socio-political non-governmental organisation which has as its central focus the challenges and rights of the Maltese lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. In February 2008, MRGM organised and presented a petition to parliament asking for a range of measures to be introduced to protect them through the law. The petition received the backing of Alternattiva Demokratika with leader Harry Vassallo addressing the Malta Times newspaper, saying that the recognition of gay rights would be a step forward. The petition was signed by more than 1,000 people and asked for legal recognition of same-sex couples, an anti-homophobic bullying strategy for the island nation's schools and new laws targeting homophobic and transphobic crimes.

 

News & Reports:

 

Why Are HIV Rates on the Rise Among Europe’s Older Adults?

New research published this week in the “Lancet” shows a sharp upward trend in HIV diagnosis rates among adults over 50 in Europe. What explains this alarming increases, and how can we reduce transmission risk? Conducted by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the study examined the diagnoses rates of 31 European countries… Read more »

Catholic Malta Legalizes Gay Marriage Over Church Objection

The predominantly Roman Catholic island nation of Malta is set to legalize gay marriage, joining much of Western Europe. Valletta, Malta — The predominantly Roman Catholic island nation of Malta is set to legalize gay marriage, joining much of Western Europe by replacing the traditional “you are now husband and wife” declaration in civil ceremonies… Read more »

Malta moves step closer to legalizing gay marriage

Malta moved closer to passing a law legalizing same-sex marriage Wednesday after its parliament voted in favor of the measure, which marked a key step in the process. The legislation now moves into the committee stage before a final vote is held in parliament on July 12 where it’s expected to pass. “On 12 July… Read more »

Malta’s Prime Minister pledges to pass equal marriage

Malta’s re-elected Prime Minister has pledged his first law will bring in equal marriage. Muscat’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has pioneered many of the country’s pioneering LGBT rights reforms, which have seen the traditionally-conservative island nation become one of the most progressive in Europe for LGBT people. The Labour politician was sworn back in today,… Read more »

Malta could introduce same-sex marriage this year

No time frame has been given, but it could happen this year Malta is looking to introduce same-sex marriage – and it sounds as if it could happen this year. Helena Dalli, Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs, and Civil Liberties, made the announcement on Tuesday (21 February). If the law passes, Malta will be… Read more »

Why the Tiny Island of Malta Has Europe’s Most Progressive Gay Rights

But the European island is far from perfect for LGBTQ people, activists say Malta, the tiny southern European island with a population of just over 420,000, made history earlier this month by becoming the first European country to criminalize “deceptive and harmful” conversion therapy, defined as any practice which aims to change, repress or eliminate… Read more »

Malta just became the first country in Europe to ban ‘gay cure’ therapy

Malta has made history as the first European country to ban gay conversion therapy. The island nation passed the bill that will mean any medical professional found guilty of prescribing the so-called ‘gay cure’ therapy could be jailed. Politicians voted through the Affirmation of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression Bill, labelling gay cure… Read more »

153 same-sex couples have taken advantage of Malta’s civil unions law

In total, 153 couples have taken advantage of Malta’s 2014 law which legalised same-sex civil partnerships. The law was introduced in April 2014, and legalised civil unions and adoption for same-sex couples. It also meant recognition for marriages entered into abroad as civil unions, and recognition of foreign civil unions. A parliamentary question answered by… Read more »

Malta could become first country in Europe to ban ‘gay cure’ therapy

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. The practise of attempting to ‘cure’ someone’s sexuality is considered pointless and damaging… Read more »

Malta Legalizes Gay Partnerships, Adoption Rights

Valletta – The Maltese parliament approved a law late on Monday to recognise same-sex partnerships on a legal par with marriage, including allowing gay couples to adopt. The law was greeted by wild celebrations by some 1,000 people in a square just outside parliament in Valletta, the capital of the predominantly Roman Catholic Mediterranean island… Read more »

Gay Man Granted Asylum In Malta Due To Persecution In Nigeria

An 18-year-old Nigerian migrant has been granted asylum in Malta due to persecution in his home country over his homosexuality. Consensual homosexual conduct is punishable by up to 14-years in prison under Nigeria’s federal criminal code. The man was granted asylum by the Refugee Appeals Board in Malta this month after his initial request had… Read more »

Malta: Catholic bishop claims gay couples do ‘not have a role in society’

Malta’s Auxiliary Bishop has spoken out to express his displeasure at the lack of a clear difference between marriage and civil partnerships in the debate around civil partnerships for same-sex couples in Malta, saying that gay people do “not produce offspring” so do “not have a role in society”. Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna made the… Read more »

Malta: Bill introduced to increase protections against sexual orientation discrimination

A private member’s bill has been introduced in Malta in order to amend the country’s Constitution to increase protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Article 45 of the Maltese Constitution already protects against discrimination based on race and sex, among others, however the proposal by the Opposition, the Nationalist Party, would protect against discrimination… Read more »

Malta: Gay and trans council appointed to advise on introduction of same-sex civil partnerships

A consultative council has been appointed by the ruling Labour government to give recommendations and prepare upcoming legislation relating to LGBT people. The council was formed by Social Dialogue Minister Helena Dalli after the first reading of a bill that will allow trans people who undergo gender reassignment to marry a person with the same… Read more »

Malta: Transgender woman wins legal right to marry after government drops case

Campaigners have welcomed a decision to allow a transgender woman in Malta the right to marry. Joanne Cassar, a 31-year-old hairdresser, began legal proceedings in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in 2011 after she was prevented from marrying on the island. Although the case is still pending in Strasbourg, on Wednesday, the Maltese… Read more »

From gay-friendly beaches to rooftop pools, Malta is king for rest and relaxation

Whether your perfect holiday is sunning on a beach or strolling ancient ruins, Malta offers some of the best vacation spots under the Mediterranean sun The island of Malta puts the ‘hidden gem’ cliché to shame. With its secluded beaches and vibrant nightlife scene, Arabic-sounding language and Sicilian-inspired cuisine, Malta is the ultimate Mediterranean melting… Read more »

Malta: Court hears details of assault on teenage lesbian couple

Further details of an attack against a lesbian couple in the Maltese town of Hamrun emerged at a court hearing yesterday, with a defendant reportedly head-butting one of the girls. Two girls aged 15 and 16 were injured during an incident in February of this year on the Mediterranean island, the Times of Malta reports.… Read more »

Maltese government set to propose civil partnerships

The Maltese government is set to propose civil partnerships for gay couples. The country’s justice minister is to pilot a cohabitation law, which will propose the regulation of same-sex relationships. Chris Siad, the justice minister in question, told Malta Today: “The bill on co-habitation will be discussed in Cabinet and within the Parliamentary Group shortly.… Read more »

Malta considers hate crimes after bus attack on lesbians

An off-duty Maltese bus driver has been charged after physically attacking two lesbian fellow passengers, reportedly for kissing. The incident comes amid public discussion on the island over the introduction of hate crime laws to protect gay and transgender citizens. Driver Marco Borg, 43, was charged on Saturday with causing injury and disrupting public order.… Read more »

Study finds 50 per cent of gay people in Malta overestimate discrimination laws

A study in Malta has said that while 60 per cent of respondents experience discrimination in the workplace, only half are aware this is the only area where they are protected. While almost two-thirds knew that the law protected them on matters of employment, as required in the EU, fewer were aware that protection did… Read more »

Gay Malta News & Reports 2010-11

1 A secret history of Malta 3/10 2 Major discrimination against LGBT still takes place in all spheres 4/10 3 Malta has poor record on gay rights 5/10 4 Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women concludes 10/10 5 Maltese trans man wins right to be recognised as male 3/11 6 Maltese LGBT community… Read more »

Gay Malta News & Reports 2003-09

1 New premises for Malta Gay Rights Movement 1/03 2 Gay Rights Movement deplores billboard at Naxxar MLP Club 2/03 3 Seminar on gay rights in EU accession countries 5/03 4 Gay Rights Movement reacts to parties’ proposals 4/03 5 AD calls for full implimenetation of EU anti-discrimination directive 5/03 6 EU presses government to… Read more »