Labour leader Joseph Muscat said today that a Labour government would grant same sex couples the right of civil union, introduce a gender identity law for transgender persons and appoint a minister for civil rights and equality and a consultative council to screen laws before they are enacted to ensure that they do not discriminate against LGBT persons.
Addressing a meeting organized by LGBT Labour Muscat said that the country must now make the step to give human rights to LGBT persons, 40 years since the Labour government decriminalised homosexuality. “We have waited too long to move ahead an give these persons their rights. We truly want Malta for all and want everyone to feel that Malta is theirs.
Muscat said that granting human rights to LGBT persons has nothing to do with tolerance but with embracing these people as human beings who should have the same rights and responsibilities as others.
Muscat also said a Labour government would also widen the remit of the Employment Commission to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and would also sign Protocol 12 of the European Convention of Human Rights against discrimination.
Several LGBT persons spoke at the event about the bullying and discrimination they have been subjected to and how several of their young friends had committed suicide because they had been rejected by their families and society. They spoke about the need to change not only laws but also mind-sets and attitudes to accept diversity and treat LGBT persons like human beings.