Maltese comfortable with a transgender prime minister but not their child

A Eurobarometer survey reveals differing attitudes on LGBTIQ people

A Eurobarometer survey has shed light on the differing attitudes towards LGBTIQ persons
A Eurobarometer survey has shed light on the differing attitudes towards LGBTIQ persons

A Eurobarometer survey reveals that 61% of Maltese are completely comfortable with having a transgender person occupying the highest elected office in their country.

But the high acceptance rate is not reflected in the responses of people, when asked whether they felt comfortable with a transgender child.

Only 33% expressed comfort with having a transgender child, while 34% said they were uncomfortable. The rest were moderately comfortable or indifferent.

The same survey showed that 73% of Maltese are comfortable with having a gay or lesbian prime minister but only 44% are comfortable with having a gay or lesbian child.

Just over a quarter (26%) are uncomfortable with having a gay or lesbian child, and the rest are either moderately comfortable or indifferent.

The Maltese rank 15 among the EU 28 when it comes to acceptance of a transgender child and 16 when it comes to acceptance of a gay or lesbian child.

The Maltese rank 17 among the EU 28 when it comes to acceptance of transgender persons in politics and 10 when it comes to acceptance of gay and lesbian people in top political positions.

The Maltese score well above the EU average on both counts – eight points higher with regards to acceptance of transsexual politicians and nine points higher when it comes to gay and lesbian politicians.

The survey found that only 33% of Maltese would feel comfortable with their son or daughter dating a trans person.

The level of acceptance is higher for same-sex relationships with 41% saying they would be comfortable if their child’s choice.  

In contrast with the Maltese, the Dutch, British and Swedes show the same high level of acceptance towards LGBTI persons in both politics and in their own families.

The Maltese tend to rank similarly to the Poles when it comes to acceptance of gay or transgender children.

Despite a degree of discomfort with having gays, lesbians and transgender persons in their family circle the Maltese are the most likely in Europe to support legal recognition of transgender and intersex identities. 

67% of Maltese agreed that public documents, like passports and birth certificates should include an X option beside Female (F) and Male (M).

83% of Maltese also agreed that transgender persons should be able to change their civil documents to match their inner gender identity, well above the European average of 59%.

But the survey also showed that despite the leap in LGBTIQ rights in the past few years, a section of Maltese society still resists change.

One fifth of the Maltese (20%) disagree with the statement that there is nothing wrong in a sexual relationship between people of the same sex. The same percentage disagrees with full equality between heterosexuals and gay, lesbian and bisexual people.

Surprisingly the percentage of Maltese who agreed with equal rights (73%) has dropped by five points when compared to 2015 but those who believe that there is nothing wrong in sexual relationships between same-sex persons has increased by two points.

Kissing in public

The survey also showed that 67% of Maltese want same-sex marriage to be recognised in all EU countries, up two points since 2015 but still two points below the EU average.

Only 25% of Maltese remain opposed to same-sex marriage.

The survey showed that 36% of Maltese were not comfortable with two men kissing in public.

The percentage who are comfortable (38%) has gone up four points since 2015 but is still 11 points below the EU average.

38% were comfortable with two women kissing in public, up one point since 2015 but 15 points below the EU mean.

The survey found that 77% of Maltese agree that school lessons and material should include information about gay, lesbian and bisexuals.

A high percentage of Maltese agree with providing lessons and material on being transgender (76%) and intersex(73%).

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