Malta extends hate crime laws to include gays

Campaigners welcome passing of new bill which sends 'strong message' to society about LGBT rights

Malta extends hate crime laws to include gays
21 June 2012

Malta has passed new legislation which extends hate crime laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity for the first time in the country’s history.

The bill, which was approved in parliament last night, was first proposed during a protest following the attack of two young lesbians earlier this year.

The Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM) has welcomed the new bill, saying it sent a ‘strong message’ to society that crimes against LGBT people are ‘unacceptable and will incur tougher penalties’.

Speaking about the violent homophobic asssaults which rocked Malta in January and February 2012, a spokesman for the group said: ‘The courage of these young people to report the crime played an important role in providing the required impetus to move forward with this legislative proposal which had been on MGRM’s agenda for a number of years.

‘The next step is ensuring that police are adequately trained in dealing with such crimes and in actively reaching out to the LGBT community to ensure that victims feel safe to come forward and report such incidents. Adequate data collection is also essential.’

A second bill which will extend the remit of the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality to also cover sexual orientation and gender identity is expected to be passed this week. 

It will allow the Commission to act as mediator and to investigate allegations of discrimination in employment.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Kelly Clarkson 'likely' to vote for Obama because of his pro-gay marriage stance

This despite the singer being 'a Republican at heart'
No thumbnail available

Karl Lagerfeld: I want to marry my cat

Gay Chanel designer has revealed he has fallen in love with the one-year-old pampered pussycat and would marry her if it was legal
No thumbnail available

Germany has just taken a huge step to legalizing gay marriage

Federal Assembly proposes changes to German Civil Code granting same-sex couples full marriage and adoption equality
No thumbnail available

Why are people still getting away with hunting animals?

Ten years since the Hunting Act came into force, the campaign to protect British wildlife continues
No thumbnail available

The new Orange Is The New Black trailer and pics will have you gagging

Piper and Alex look like they get closer (and in the same bed) in new season 3 image
No thumbnail available

Apple CEO Tim Cook topples Ellen DeGeneres from top of Out Power 50 list

Rounding out top five are Rachel Maddow, Senator Tammy Baldwin and Anderson Cooper
No thumbnail available

Minnesota school district drops anti-gay policy

Minnesota district school board votes to no longer ban homosexuality from being taught as a valid lifestyle
No thumbnail available

UK’s only transgender military pilot talks of the support she received from Prince William

The woman, who has served alongside the prince as a search and rescue pilot, has spoken out about her life, career and transition process
No thumbnail available

Faith leaders fight for gay marriage in Hawaii

More than two dozen religious leaders of various faiths have demanded the birthplace of Barack Obama should have same-sex marriage
No thumbnail available

Paul O’Grady backs LGBT Fostering and Adoption week

Popular British TV star backs UK’s first gay and trans adoption and fostering week