Thursday, February 9, 2012

Malta Considering Hate Crime Law

While others are concentrating on Roland Martin, Washington State and what looks like same-sex marriage coming into being, an Atlanta hate crime and other items both newsworthy and not so, I thought I would bring to the forefront what most will probably miss and not bring to their readers.

Since the beginning of this year there have been several incidents of homophobic attacks in Malta, so many in fact that Maltese government officials are now considering adding into its current hate crime law those who attack or kill based on sexual orientation.

The website GayStarNews reported this news on Wednesday.

Malta which is a member of the EU and signed the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union which does prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation currently has no laws in place to prosecute acts of violence based on homophobia.

In late January a peaceful demonstration of about 50 people was held to protest the fact there are no laws currently available for gay hate crimes. The protest was held in the town where a lesbian couple (one of the couple is shown in photo) were beaten by two male teenagers.

In an interview with The Times of Malta, Gabi Calleja who is the coordinator of the LGBT group, The Malta Gay Rights Movement, was quoted in part, "The incident is a reminder of the fact that being part of a minority continues to pose certain risks: that being gay, lesbian or part of an ethnic minority or sometimes just being a woman can put one at risk of being assaulted, violated and discriminated against."

“No one should become a target because of their identity and when this basic right is threatened then measures should be in place to ensure that justice is done.”

The video is a report on the incidents of violence and the protests which have followed and although not in English the video alone is more than enough to understand what has been happening to LGBTs in Malta where justice for LGBT hate crimes is so very long over due.

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