MGRM to continue pushing for gay marriage
Reposted from: http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/en/newsdetails/news/elections2013/MGRM-to-continue-pushing-for-gay-marriage-20130119
MGRM coordinator says Labour and PN edging closer on the official recognition of gay couples, with Labour calling it civil unions and PN civil partnerships.
The coordinator of the Malta Gay Rights Movement Gabi Calleja is categorical that the movement will continue pushing for the right of gay couples to get married despite a lack of consensus from the political side.
Addressing the press, Calleja said that the Nationalist and Labour parties were edging closer in the position over the recognition of gay couples, with PN calling it 'civil partnership' and Labour 'civil union'.
"Even though the PN is not ready to use the word 'marriage', it changed its position from the proposed cohabitation and civil partnerships bill which MGRM had opposed and is now edging closer to our position," Calleja said.
She also said that politicians were realising that society was changing and could no longer procrastinate to acknowledge and carry out the necessary change.
Meeting with PN deputy leader Simon Busuttil at the PN's headquarters, Calleja said that gay marriage and the gender identity bill were two important pending issues that must be tackled.
"Gay marriage is a clear objective of the movement, but no agreement has so far been reached," Calleja said, as she added that the meeting between the NGO and the political party was an opportunity for the LGBT community to get informed over PN's plans and proposals.
After the meeting, Calleja also revealed that Justice Minister Chris Said and Labour MP Evarist Bartolo had agreed that the gender identity bill would be approved in parliament.
Calleja also thanked Simon Busuttil for upholding a request by the MGRM to meet up with the PN. In the first few minutes during which the press was allowed to cover, Callega admitted that progress had been achieved over the past five years.
She said that the introduction of gay hate crime in the Maltese laws and laws preventing sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace have been welcomed by the gay community.
"These were two important steps that made a difference in the LGBT community," she said.
On his part, Busuttil said that positive steps had been made towards increasing the rights enjoyed by LGBT individuals, but conceded that these weren't enough. He also said that the Cohabitation Bill would have provided gay couples with rights and duties.
"If reelected, this law will come into force as soon as possible," he promised.
Busuttil also said that even though the MGRM and the PN may have held different positions on different issues, the two sides always found ways on how to concentrate on the common grounds.