LGL Meets with the President of the Republic of Malta

On February 25th – March 1st, 2015 four representatives of the national LGBT* rights association LGL participated in the fifth partners’ meeting in the course of Grundtvig Learning Partnership “Queer Pathways into Diversity: ‘Being Different’ as a Key Factor in LGBT*Q European Adult Education (QuPiD)” in the Republic of Malta. During their visit, the LGL’s delegation participated in a gender diversity-themed seminar, discussed the methods of adult education for non LGBT*s and were cordially invited to a reception by the President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society. In the course of the reception the representatives of LGL had the chance to present the President of the Republic of Malta Marie Louise Coleiro Preca with an LGBT*-themed souvenir from Lithuania.

The gender diversity-themed seminar on February 26th, 2015 was organized by the Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM). The seminar was titled ‘Inclusion of Trans and Intersex Persons through Legislation and Policy’. During the seminar, MGRM Coordinator Gabi Calleja outlined the key priorities of the ‘Scope and Implications of Including Trans, Gender Variant and Intersex Students Policy’, which will seek to address issues pertaining to gender variance in schools in the wake of the Maltese Gender Identity Act inaugurated last October. Outlining the key parameters of the Gender Identity Act, Human Rights policy coordinator with the Ministry for Social Dialogue Silvan Agius said that the “norm is changing” even on the administrative level, as those on the gender variant continuum will now be able to change previous official documents to conform to their new gender – including youths applying for their new ID cards, at age 14 and onwards. The representatives of LGL were highly impressed by these positive developments on the policy level in Malta. According to the LGL’s Board Chair Vladimir Simonko, Malta now sets a high standard on the inclusion of trans and intersex people for the remaining countries in Europe. “Seeing how fast and how far Malta has come, it makes me wonder, weather this immense progress towards acceptance and inclusion will be possible in Lithuania one day,” – says Mr. Simonko.

On February 28th, 2015 the representatives of LGL attended a reception by the President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society. The main purpose of the said reception was to support initiatives that promote LGBT* inclusion and respect for diversity.  The LGL’s Board Chair Vladimir Simonko and the LGL’s Policy Coordinator Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius had the chance to present the President of the Republic of Malta with an LGBT*-themed souvenir from Lithuania. The gift package included a Baltic Pride 2013 photo album and a “I Support Family Diversity” t-shirt, which is banned in Lithuania due to the ‘homosexual propaganda’ law. “It was absolutely amazing to discuss the censorship of LGBT*-related positive information in Lithuania with the President of the Republic of Malta. Ms. Preca was very supportive and affirming – quite contrary to the key Lithuanian politicians,” – says Mr. Raskevičius.

The ‘QuPiD’ project aims at strengthening political LGBT*Q (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*gender and Queer) adult education as an important strategy to combat anti-homosexual, -bisexual and -trans*gender tendencies, policies and violence in European societies and to work for the respect of different ways of living without discrimination – enabling inclusion and active citizenship of marginalized groups. The project is formed of six partners, including MGRM (Malta), VNB (Germany), Waldschloesschen (Germany), GOBS (England), LGL (Lithuania) and KPH (Poland).