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Law on civil unions to be drafted by consultative council – Muscat

MGRM coordinator Gabi Calleja says Embry Protection Bill should be extended to cover gay couples

Miriam Dalli
4 February 2013, 12:00am
Labour leader Joseph Muscat during a round table conference with human rights NGO aditus, MGRM, University group We Are and members of the transgender community.


A Labour government would appoint a consultative council on gay rights to draft a civil union bill, Labour leader Joseph Muscat said today.

Speaking during a meeting with human rights NGO aditus, the MGRM, representatives of the transgender community and University group We Are, Muscat said this would be the first time that a major political party would have an electoral programme with a chapter fully dedicated to civil liberties and equality rights.

"A Labour government is also committed to set up a consultative council with the first priority being to draft the civil unions law. This should be a breakthrough in civil liberties in Malta," Muscat said.

He added that the council would also be responsible of pointing out and proposing amendments to eliminate discriminatory points from laws. He also reassured the NGOs that the council would not be taking their place but it would strengthen their involvement.

Muscat also reiterated a Labour government commitment to appoint a person to be politically responsible of civil liberties and equality. He also reiterated that the Gender Identity Bill would be a priority for a Labour government.

Referring to the issue of blood donation by practicing gay men, Muscat said this should be based on science. He said that the Labour Party was looking at studies being carried out abroad.

"Although there is no uniform approach among EU member states, a number of countries are moving towards a risk and study assessment policy," Muscat said..

He added that in the past days he had been bombarded with emails about the issue.

On her part, MGRM coordinator Gabi Calleja said that gay marriages and gender identity bill were clear targets if the LGBT community.

Calleja said that the gay community was also pushing for the Embryo Protection Bill to be extended to gay couples as well. She also said there was a need to train teachers how to tackle bullying in classrooms.

The meeting continued in private.
Miriam Dalli graduated in communications studies from the University of ...
Glor Findel
It's all well and good as long there is a clear roadmap with deadlines! All too often a 'consultative council' can mean a mechanism with which to drag an issue endlessly! ... We do not need to reinvent the wheel, simply study and learn from the experiences of other countries. ... LGBT persons in Malta have waited and suffered in silence way too long! ... I would expect any future government that wants the LGBT vote to PROMISE UNEQUIVOCALLY THAT THE CIVIL UNION / OR PARTNERSHIP LAW WILL BE INTRODUCED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, BUT LATEST BY END JUNE 2013!!!