Abela tells LGBTQI community to live freely without fear because they are loved

Prime Minister Robert Abela encourages the LGBTQ+ community to not fear 'keyboard warriors or hate speech'

Robert Abela speaking at the LGBTIQ Human Rights Conference on Thursday
Robert Abela speaking at the LGBTIQ Human Rights Conference on Thursday

Prime Minister Robert Abela assured the LGBTQ+ community that they are loved and accepted in the country and encouraged them to be true to themselves without fear of discrimination. 

“To all those who are still living in the shadows, afraid of being true to who they are, afraid of discrimination and hate. We are a country of acceptance and we are a country that wants you to be true to yourself and live freely. There is space for you, no keyboard warrior or hate speech should stop you from living your truth,” Abela said speaking at the LGBTIQ Human Rights Conference on Thursday.

He expressed his anticipation of joining the pride march scheduled for Saturday.

Abela pointed out how Malta has consistently ranked high on the ILGA Europe Rainbow Index, and pledged to continue working towards preserving human rights, especially in a global context where some nations are regressing in terms of civil liberties. 

He stressed the importance of never taking progress for granted and reaffirmed the commitment to the LGBTIQ+ community, saying, "you are not forgotten, you are not cast aside, and you are not to be discriminated against."

Addressing questions about why Malta lists countries hostile to the LGBTQ+ community as safe for asylum seekers, the Prime Minister clarified that asylum evaluations strictly adhere to legal parameters.

He assured that every application is processed fairly and justly under the law, with a sense of fairness and justice.

European Commissioner Helena Dalli also spoke at the conference, highlighting the importance of protecting the most vulnerable in the LGBTQ+ community, particularly trans, non-binary, and intersex individuals. 

She emphasised that trans rights should be recognised everywhere.

"Trans women are women and trans men are men, at the workplace, on the street, in public places, in sports and everywhere else," Dalli said.

She stressed that ignorance and denial of contact with LGBTIQ people only breed homophobia and transphobia, advocating for age-appropriate education on sexuality and gender to help children break free from stereotypes. 

The commissioner called for the eradication of discrimination, both structurally and beyond borders, to ensure that nobody is left behind.