(Blogmensgo, gay blog of December 10, 2016) On December 5, 2016, the Maltese parliament adopted two bills in favor of the LGBT community. The first one criminalizes any treatment of or other measures against homosexuality. The second one amends an existing law on sexual identity and now prohibits considering any sexual orientation or gender identity as a disease. After legalizing same-sex partnerships in 2014, Malta has now become the first country in Europe to officially fight against homophobic hypocrisy.
Homosexuality and Gender Identity: Everything is Normal
The Maltese deputies unanimously accepted the first of these two bills whose text had been prepared since December 2015. It says that “no sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression shall be considered as a disorder, disease or shortcoming of any sort.”
Consequently, any attempt to influence people concerned is considered an offense.
Prosecution of Medical Homophobia
Physicians and other professionals attempting sexual conversions or fighting against homosexuality in any way will face jail terms up to one year and fines up to $10,000.
The Bill also lowers the age of persons who may independently request a change in gender from eighteen to sixteen.
A New Kind of Restrooms
Another interesting aspect is that non-Maltese individuals who are detained in gender-segregated facilities may now request to live in the section which reflects their lived gender, as recognized by means of an affidavit.
The Ministry for Social Dialogue also announced that since September 2016, 47% of the restrooms (toilets) in the Maltese government buildings have been gender-neutral in order to make persons without a clearly determined gender feel more comfortable.