The Malta Independent 26 September 2017, Tuesday

Gay pride march set to be a celebration of newly enacted gay rights

Rebecca Iversen Friday, 8 September 2017, 10:00 Last update: about 18 days ago

Hundreds of people are gearing up to celebrate the newly enacted Marriage Equality Act and Malta’s ranking as the most LGBTIQ-friendly country in Europe at this Saturday’s annual gay pride march. Valletta is expected to be awash with rainbow flags as a celebratory street party takes over the capital’s streets.

Russel Sammut, spokesperson for Allied Rainbow Community (ARC), told The Malta Independent that “gay pride marches usually seek to highlight a lack of LGBTIQ rights; this year’s march, however, will be a huge celebration.” In 2014, the Civil Unions Act granted same-sex couples the right to enter into civil unions and the right to adopt children. On the 1 September this year, legal amendments were made for same-sex couples to have the exact same rights as opposite-sex couples. The new marriage law also replaced all gender-specific references in Maltese law with gender-neutral terminology.

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The jam-packed programme will start at St George’s Square, Valletta, at 4pm. Sammut revealed to this newsroom that the event will include a free street party and a concert featuring a variety of Maltese performers.

Sammut said that “this year’s parade will feature a huge rainbow flag, along with other surprises and plenty of free merchandise for the public to enjoy. Extravagant dress is also expected and encouraged.”

 “The street party will consist of music, with three floats, all with their own DJs. There will be some big surprises at the end of the parade. In this year’s parade we would like to focus on health issues, specifically targeting the prevention of Aids and HIV. It is important to state that sexually transmitted diseases should not be associated only with LBGT persons. We decided to speak up because we feel that there should be more awareness and information given to the general public. 

Some of the Maltese artists who will be participating are: Ira Losco, Chiara Siracusa, Claudia Faniello and Glenn Vella.

Russel also spoke about the support that this march is getting from big companies who were ready to back this cause.

Russel concluded that “everyone is looking forward to this because diversity is so important now. And even though this march is a celebration of what we have achieved, we are also marching in solidarity for those in places where LGBTIQ rights are still not recognised.”

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