[WATCH] Major parties agree LGBTIQ legislation was crucial, but cultural shift remains a challenge

XTRA on TVM | Parliamentary Secretary Rebecca Buttigieg and Nationalist MP Claudette Buttigieg in agreement much needs to be done to shift general public’s perception of the LGBTIQ+ community

Claudette Buttigieg (right) and Rebecca Buttigieg (left) on TVM's Xtra
Claudette Buttigieg (right) and Rebecca Buttigieg (left) on TVM's Xtra

The major political parties are in agreement that despite Malta making significant strides in legislation on civil rights, more work has to be done to change the general public’s mentality.

“We have made much progress when it comes to legislation, so much so that other countries are using Maltese law on civil rights as a blueprint for their own reforms, but there is much work to be done,” Equality Parliament Secretary Rebecca Buttigieg said.

The equality junior minister, and Nationalist MP Claudette Buttigieg were speaking on Saviour Balzan’s XTRA on Monday.

The Nationalist MP said the lack of education has resulted in misinformation and fearmongering about the LGBTIQ+ community.

“It is not true that individuals within the community enjoy more rights than other people,” Rebecca Buttigieg said, referring to conspiracy statements made by far-right groups in Malta and other countries.

"Some people simply do not grasp this; they struggle to comprehend it," added Claudette Buttigieg, "and that's why they resort to mockery, humiliation, and harm."

Rebecca Buttigieg explained that it is this mentality that legitimises fear within the LGBTQ+ community and motivates them to take to the streets during Europride.

Speaking with MaltaToday last week, ARC President Maria Azzopardi noted that Malta's laws remain fragile, and members of the community are concerned that everything could revert to the way it was in the past with a simple signature.

The Labour MP agreed with the statement, saying Malta should not take the progress made in the past years for granted.

Questioned on the PN’s past stance in opposing civil liberty legislation, Claudette Buttigieg acknowledged that the party has undergone a “cultural transformation.”

"You are always learning, and that's what we did. We now have LGBTQ+ individuals within the party, including candidates," she pointed out.