President of Malta Condemns Discrimination During Meeting With Euro Gay Group



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■ The President of Malta, Dr George Abela.
Official photo

VALLETTA, October 27, 2009    The President of Malta, Dr George Abela, today condemned discrimination and stressed the importance of anti-discrimination legislation.

He was speaking during a meeting with the executive board and staff of the International Lesbian and Gay Association Europe at the Presidential Palace during the 13th annual conference of ILGA-Europe, being held in Malta this week.

During the meeting, Dr George Abela highlighted the importance of information and education in tackling discrimination and increasing tolerance and acceptance of differences.

He said there is definitely a progress in Malta regarding greater acceptance of people with minority sexual orientation.

President Abela, who became a President of Malta six months ago, also made a reference to his inaugural speech when he stressed the importance of inclusiveness and condemned discrimination.

He said he had LGBT people specifically in mind when referring to minorities and various families during his inaugural speech.

President Abela stressed the important of anti-discrimination legislation in employment and agreed that Malta EU membership is a positive factor contributing towards greater debate on diversity and acceptance.

When asked to reflect on the theme of ILGA-Europe’s conference in Malta, Overcoming Cultural and Religious Barriers to LGBT Equality, the president said he believes love is the most important virtue and value and cannot be graded depending on sexual orientation.

An ILGA-Europe spokesperson said the meeting “took place … in a warm and welcoming atmosphere”

It was the first time that a head of state has met with representatives of ILGA-Europe during the group’s annual conference.

The meeting was facilitated by Malta Gay Rights Movement, co-host of the ILGA-Europe’s annual conference.

■ With a population of just 400,000, Malta is the smallest of the 27 member nations of the European Union.






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Posted: 27 Oct 2009 at 15:00 (UK time)


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