LGBTI+ Gozo: New NGO launched, working towards a more open society

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LGBTI+ Gozo: New NGO launched, working towards a more open societyThis morning the Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties Helena Dalli and the Minister for Gozo, Anton Refalo, officially launched a new NGO – LGBTI+ Gozo.

LGBTI+ Gozo, is a non-political, non-profit NGO, founded by a young group of Gozitans, which aims to carry out work towards a more open society in Gozo without prejudice to any sector. Moreover, LGBTI+ Gozo will also be working in the field of equality, sexual orientation and gender identity.

During the press conference held at the Ministry for Gozo, Minister Helena Dalli praised the commitment of these young people through this initiative, saying that, “Gozo will now have a specific organisation which will be working with the LGBTIQ community.”

She said that through the recent opening of discussions and initiatives underdaken on this topic in the country, more and more people, whatever their sexual orientation or gender are feeling they are able to live openly without fear or hiding.

The Minister also pointed out however that there is still much work to do in relation to attitudes towards diversity.

Dr Dalli referred to the index ILGA-Europe which was published earlier this week where Malta ranked in third place out of a total of 49 countries in LGBTIQ matters, with an overall rating of 79%.

“This result could only be achieved through the work carried out by the Government in the last two years including the introduction of the Civil Union Law and the Law on Gender Identity, Gender Identity and Gender Expression,” said Minister Dalli.

Dr Dalli spoke about the work being carried out by the LGBTIQ Advisory Council and explained how LGBTI+ Gozo is already part of this Council.

The Minister for Gozo Dr Anton Refalo, reiterated that this is another step forward to help ensure that each person has human rights and dignity without restrictions.

He mentioned how only a few days ago, a zebra crossing in Victoria was symbolically painted with rainbow colours as part of the United Nations ‘Free and Equal campaign.’

Dr Refalo stressed the importance of a society where everyone is free and equal and that there should be no restrictions on the rights of one person or another.

LGBTI+ Gozo Chairman Eman Borg, said that the Committee will work towards a more inclusive and fair Gozitan society

He said said that Sunday marks the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, and although this country has made great advances in LGBTIQ matters, homophobia is still a reality and therefore much more needs to be done to overcome it.

Eman Borg also stated that LGBTI+ Gozo supports the proposal that had been put forward by the Gozo University Group for a GU Clinic to be set up in Gozo.

Photograph: MGOZ/George Scerri

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