On addressing the Gay Pride 2012 march, held on the 30 June in Sliema, Michael Briguglio, AD chairperson, said: “AD supports the calls of the LGBT community for equality in all aspects of social policy. We salute LGBT activists for standing up to be counted for equal rights. AD is the only party with clear policies on LGBT rights, and our upcoming electoral manifesto will confirm this. As chairperson of the Green Party, I believe that equality is a key issue for progressive politics, irrespective of one’s sexual orientation”.
Angele Deguara, AD spokesperson for social policy and civil rights, said: “I have been taking part in the gay pride march for many years because I believe that diversity should be embraced and celebrated. Unfortunately many LGBT people do not yet have the courage or feel unable to participate in the Pride Parade, reflecting the fact that in our society LGBT people are not yet comfortable to reveal their sexual orientation in public. AD acknowledges that nowadays Maltese society has become more open but there is still much to be done to overcome homophobia and transphobia both on a cultural and political level”.
“AD believes that LGBT couples should enjoy equal rights as heterosexual married people in all aspects of life and that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity should be taken more seriously. LGBT people are still facing a number of difficulties in life which are causing them unnecessary hardship. AD appreciates that the legislation pertaining to hate crime has been widened to include sexual orientation as has the remit of the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality. However, in both cases, it is the implementation which matters most. For the NCPE to be able to deal effectively with cases of inequality on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation, the government has to allocate adequate funds and human resources. Changing the law without ensuring that the NCPE can monitor discrimination and deal with individual cases effectively is a futile exercise.”
“AD is also concerned about the plight of transgender persons. Apart from the fact that gender reassignment surgery is not provided by the state health services free of charge as it should be, these persons still face a lot of discrimination and uncertainties. There are still many obstacles in terms of their official documents which should be changed to reflect their new identity as well as in relation to marriage. AD believes that transgender persons should be allowed to marry, in line with European Court of Human Rights jurisprudence and not left in gender nowhereland as they are at present”.
Deguara concluded that a modern, pluralistic society should not base its policies on one model of the family but should recognise different family forms and design policies which reflect this reality.