With an overall rating of 91%, for the third consecutive year, Malta remains the leading country in LGBTIQ rights and has widened the gap with the rest of the European countries. In fact, Malta is far ahead from Belgium, which ranked second, with 79%, and Norway which ranked third with 78%.
The index examines the current situation for LGBTIQ people in areas of equality and non-discrimination, family, hate crime and hate speech, legal gender recognition and bodily integrity, civil society space and asylum.
In this year’s report, ILGA-Europe included three new criteria, which Malta already takes account of in national legislation. These are the criminalisation of conversion therapy for sexual orientation and gender identity and no restriction of age or name change when legally recognising one’s gender. Malta remains the only country in Europe that legislated in all three areas. The index also shows that, till date, Malta is the only country which prohibits medical interventions from being carried out on intersex persons without informed consent.
This once again demonstrates the Government’s clear vision to promote equality. A vision that continuously puts Malta at the forefront of legislating in various areas to protect all citizens from all forms of discrimination.
In Malta’s national report, ILGA-Europe lists a number of civil liberties introduced by the government such as marriage equality, government’s introduction of X gender markers on official documentation, introducing the possibility of gender-neutral markers for people’s passports and identity cards, the Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act, and the prohibition of discrimination based on gender identity.
Minister for European Affairs and Equality, Helena Dalli, welcomed this report and expressed her satisfaction at the work carried out by the Ministry that is obtaining results and being recognised on a European level. The Minister also observed that there still is room for improvement, and that the Government is now working to address the remaining 9%, for example, through access to IVF to same-sex couples.
These results were released a few days before the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) during a conference in Lisbon, Portugal.
Source: Press Release by the Ministry for European Affairs and Equality