LGBTI report: Malta climbs to third place in ILGA-Europe’s 2015 rainbow map

Malta this year advanced to third place from its 2014 11th placing  with an overall score of 77% (57% in 2014) when it comes to LGBTIlegislative and constitutional issues tied to LGBTI.

These results were published in ILGA-Europe’s rainbow map which looks at the progress, or the lack of it, which has been made on LGBTI issues.

Launched in Montenegro, at the 2015 European IDAHOT Forum celebrating International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the 2015 Rainbow Europe package highlights the complexity of the current situation for LGBTI people in Europe.

However, the annual report states that “undoubtedly, the most eye-catching story of the 2015 Rainbow Map is Malta’s placing”.

“These numbers only tell part of the Maltese story – the substantial legislative and constitutional progress over the past 12 months was the platform for this climb into the Map’s top 3,” the report states.

The report continued: “At the other end of the spectrum, difficulties faced by LGBTI activists in Azerbaijan are clear; it lies at the bottom of the 2015 Map with only 5%. Our colour-coded representation of the current legal and policy situation for LGBTI people in Europe ranks 49 countries according to our ultimate benchmark of 100% equality.

“The fact that no European country has yet reached this magic number, and that the European average is lingering at just 42%, tells European decision-makers that there is much work to be done in the coming months.”

Steadfast, committed leadership and visible equality trailblazers are necessary ingredients for advancing LGBTI equality, the report found.

 “We witnessed several countries making historic strides, while others have stalled in terms of their equality development.” commented Paulo Côrte-Real, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board. “The vital ingredient, present in so many of the countries who have climbed in our Rainbow Map rankings, was unshakable leadership from political figures and activist leaders, often in challenging contexts.”

Top 3, Rainbow Map 2015     Bottom 3, Rainbow Map 2015
1. United Kingdom 86% 47. Armenia 9%
2. Belgium 83% 48. Russia 8%
3. Malta 79% 49. Azerbaijan 5%

The recognition of the human rights of trans and intersex people came to the fore in a major way in 2014. Great steps forward came in the shape of Denmark’s progressive legal gender recognition law and through impressive standard setting, when Malta gave gender identity constitutional protection from discrimination. The Spanish region of Andalucía adopted similar provisions to the Danish model and The Netherlands removed previous legal gender recognition requirements for a court order, surgery, and permanent sterilisation.

“As we approach the 10th anniversary of the Yogyakarta Principles and the 20th anniversary of ILGA-Europe in 2016, we have many hurdles left to overcome.” said Joyce Hamilton, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board. “Homophobic and transphobic violence, hate speech and discrimination continue to be an everyday occurrence for some of our LGBTI neighbours.  Let’s hope that 2015 will bring more examples similar to Malta and Estonia. Now more than ever, Europe needs political leaders to work with and for LGBTI people in Europe.”

MGRM’s coordinator, Gabi Calleja stated: “We welcome the important strides forward that Malta has made over the past months where LGBTIQ rights are concerned.

That Malta is now at the forefront of the struggle for LGBTIQ equality is something that encourages us to continue in our advocacy efforts and in providing support to LGBTIQ persons and their families,” Ms Calleja said.

Source: The Malta Independent