- LGBT rights in Malta
Maltais considered to be a very social conservative country, due in part to the nation's strong affliation with the Roman Catholic Church. Officially, 97% of its population is Roman Catholic, although recent surveys on Church attendance have seen a drastic drop in figures in recent years.
Protection based on sexual orientation in law
Since 2004, Malta has a ban on
anti-gaydiscrimination in employment, in line with European Unionrequirements. [ [http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-6917.html Malta's gay group ask for equal rights] , " Pink News", 21 February 2008]
Age of consent
age of consentis equal at 18 for all. Fact|date=March 2008
Recognition of same sex couples
No recognition with respect to
gay marriageor civil unionsis currently legal.
European Unionmember poll showed Malta at 18% support for gay marriage[http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/index.cfm/fuseaction/viewItem/itemID/14203] . In 2007a judge in Malta has ordered government officials to issue the appropriate documentation to permit a transsexual woman to get married. The court's ruling is the first of its kind in the country, which joined the EU in 2004. [http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-3725.html] .
In July 2007, Malta's Union of Teachers threatened to publish the details of four attempts to oust gay and lesbian teachers from Roman Catholic school posts. According to the union, Church schools were under pressure from parents to fire the teachers, leading to four interventions in the past five years.
Gay life in the country
There are quite a few gay clubs, including 'Tom's Bar', situated in
Floriana, which is the oldest gay club in Malta.Another gay club is 'Klozet' in Paceville.
Malta Gay Rights Movement
The Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM), founded in 2001, is a socio-political non-governmental organisation which has as its central focus the challenges and rights of the Maltese lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
In February 2008, MRGM organised and presented a petition to parliament asking for a range of measures to be introduced to protect them through the law. The petition received the backing of
Alternattiva Demokratikawith leader Harry Vassalloaddressing the Malta Times newspaper, saying that the recognition of gay rights would be a step forward. The petition was signed by more than 1,000 people and asked for legal recognition of same-sex couples, an anti-homophobic bullying strategy for the island nation's schools and new laws targeting homophobic and transphobic crimes.
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