Gay pride march 2014 'a celebration of the family'

This year's gay pride week celebrates the family and the legal recognition of gay couples

Gay pride 2014 is a celebration of the family and the recognition of an LGBTI person to love, gay rights activists said.
Although the number of attendees to this year's gay pride march do not compare to the bigger numbers registered during past marches, the smaller numbers did not mar the strong sense of happiness and joy.
Also noticeable was the increase in attendance by representatives of the Nationalist Party.
Activists also urged legislators to enact the gender identity bill.
Addressing the gathering following a march from St George's Square to Hastings Garden in Valletta, MGRM coordinator Gabi Calleja said the LGBTI community was more than ever convinced that their cause is worth fighting for.
"For years our community was shrouded in shame... So when we celebrate our pride let us not forget from where we came from. We will never forget 14 April 2014 that will forever be marked in history," Calleja said.
The Maltese parliament legislated in favour of gay civil unions and allowing gay couples to adopt. Calleja said the legislation helped changed the perception of people and now the community felt a sense of belonging.
She added that children were a gift, and not a right, and the sexual orientation of the parents was irrelevant.
"It is infidelity,  poverty, unemployment, homelessness, illiteracy, domestic violence and abuse which harm the family," Calleja added.
Various speakers addressed the small crowd gathered in Hastings Garden, including Civil Liberties Minister Helena Dalli and Nationalist MP Paula Mifsud Bonnici.
Dalli said this year's pride march was about celebrating social justice, a fair and just society. She said economic justice was also made with the fight against discrimination at the place of work.
"Being a politician, a minister, is about celebrating the wrongs I have witnessed for decades. While others may have argued we were going too fast with the adoption law, in reality we have been going too slow," the minister said.
Dalli has now invited once again a representative of the PN's equality branch to join the consultative council.
Justice Minister Owen Bonnici, who was also present for the activity, told MaltaToday he felt a sense of satisfaction.
"For years I have attended pride marches were calls against discrimination were made. If gives me a huge sense of satisfaction to be here as we honored our pledge, irrespective of the criticism received or abstentions witnessed," Bonnici said.
Visibly excited, Mifsud Bonnici said it was the PN's pleasure to take part in the event and pointed out the PN's "strong" presence at the pride march. She said the PN had set up an equality forum to strive to promote equal opportunities.
"The PN has moved forward and we are working hard to take part in every event, forum or activity to promote equality," she said.
Avoiding the subject of adoptions - the bone of contention which saw the PN abstaining on the civil unions law - Mifsud Bonnici said the Opposition will ensure that the legislation against discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation is fully implemented and enforced.


More in National