The Nationalist Party's parliamentary proposal to include a clause in the Constitution to protect people against discrimination based on sexual orientation is most welcome. So is its apology towards to Joanne Cassar and transgendered persons. Symbolically, the latter is a far cry from its confessionalism of the previous years.
It would be even better if this Saturday, at the Pride March, leaders of all 3 political parties pronounce themselves clearly and unequivically against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in all aspects of social policy. Basically, this would represent clear policy consistency for Arnold Cassola, it would represent a great leap forward for Simon Busuttil and it would represent the logical path for Joseph Muscat.
In my reading, an anti-discrimination position should mean that discrimination in all walks of life, including not only employment and education, but also other areas such as marriage and adoption, would be done away with.
This would also mean that political parties distance themselves from the patronizing evolutionist approach of the ‘Today Public Policy Institute’, which recently said that Malta ‘is not ready’ for same-sex marriage, as if Maltese people are some inferior ‘species’. Luckily, such a statement only strengthened the resolve of the LGBT activists.
As I had the opportunity to say previously, recognition of same-sex marriages can lead to the strengthening and democratization of the concept of the family, through a process of social inclusion and recognition of different family forms. It is indeed ironic that in a day and age of increased separations and divorce, couples who wish to marry are denied this right solely because of their sexual orientation.
It is becoming clearer than ever that social policy does not simply fall from above (like some present from some ‘super-saint Minister’), but is also subject to various factors, including the influence of activism and movements. In itself, this gives hope to those activists, green, blue, red, individuals, progressive organisations and extra-parliamentary forces, to articulate more progressive demands in the future.
Note: This blog also appeared in Malta Today