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Press
07/ 10/ 14
LGBTI Community Awards Nominees

The announcement of the LGBTI Community Awards 2014 this past Monday has garnered much interest both in print and social media. Four questions have been repeatedly posed

What was the reasoning behind each nominee choice?

Why was the category Spiritual/Religious Person included?

Why is Bishop Scicluna, someone who has been outspoken in his opposition to equal treatment of LGBTI persons, a nominee?

How does the MGRM view the Catholic Church?

How has the LGBTI Community reacted?

Please find our responses below:

What was the reasoning behind each nominee choice?

Collating the input from both the public and committee voting, here are the reasons for nomination of each nominee for each of the ten awards

Why was the category Spiritual/Religious Person included?

Spirituality and religion have a positive impact on many peoples’ lives. Just as in the heterosexual community, also for some LGBTI people religion and faith are an important part of their identities. Hence, we support the efforts of LGBTI people who wish to be accepted within their faith communities. To this end, we felt having a category which highlights positive role models in the area of spiritual and religious activity can help faith-based organisations understand how best to interact with LGBTI people and can contribute to the segment of the LGBTI community interested in spirituality and religion to live more rounded, better fulfilled lives.

Why is Bishop Scicluna, someone who has been outspoken in his opposition to equal treatment of LGBTI persons, a nominee?

Bishop Scicluna is a nominee for the award as he received sufficient votes in the online and sub-committee votes. In a final review of the results of the balloting, we decided not to exclude Bishop Scicluna for two reasons. First, we want to preserve the integrity of the selection process and the trust placed in us by the voters. Second we found the reasoning’s provided by the voters for nominating him to be valid. We have indeed seen a marked improvement in the quality and tonality of communication from the Catholic Church more generally in relation to issues affecting the LGBTI Community. We welcome this positive development and want to reach out to the Catholic Church and express our appreciation of this organisational growth on their part.

We note that as of today, Bishop Scicluna is the only nominee who has not afforded us the courtesy of replying, positively or negatively, to our invitation to the gala awards evening at Xara Lodge on 29th November 2014. We welcome his reply and hope he accepts our gesture of friendship and dialogue.

How does the MGRM view the Catholic Church?

We recognise the Catholic Church as the largest provider of spiritual and religion-related services in Malta. The Church is also the educator of 35% of the children in Malta and a significant provider of social services to children, youth and the elderly. While it is undeniably an organisation with deep flaws, it also does great good. 

A further positive characteristic we see is that it has shown in the past a capacity to develop over time and integrate scientific advances in its workings, even when it has originally opposed those new insights. We expect that as scientific evidence continues to build that LGBTI orientations are a natural variation in human sexuality, just like blue eyes are a natural variation in eye colour, the Catholic Church will also integrate these insights into its workings. Just like it dropped its opposition to Galileo Galilei’s insights into heliocentrism over time and 359 years after committing Galileo unjustly to house arrest, apologised for its handling of the matter, we believe that at some time in the future the Catholic Church will want to apologise to the LGBTI community for its current and historic discriminatory and exclusionary approach. We believe there is a role for the MGRM and the LGBTI community to help the Catholic Church make this move in the shortest possible time, supporting the compassionate approach espoused by Pope Francis, so that the Catholic Church as an organisation has as little as possible for which to apologise at that future date. To this end, we would welcome the opportunity of an ongoing dialogue with the Catholic Church such as homophobic bullying in schools.

How has the LGBTI community reacted to Bishop Scicluna’s nomination?

Reactions from the community have shown the deep engagement there is with religion in the community a number of people from the LGBTI Community have been quite vocal in their opposition to the nomination to Bishop Scicluna. To give the LGBTI Community the opportunity to voice their opinions MGRM are inviting those from the Community to a meeting this Saturday at 4pm. This meeting will be a press free space for people to speak freely about how they feel and details will be published on the MGRM website and Facebook page.

Download Nominees List

National Gay Helpline

If at any time you require support or you feel like you would like to express your thoughts freely to a person who will understand you, send us an email on support@maltagayrights.org

You may also call the National Gay Helpline, run by MGRM... Tel: +356 21430006 / +356 99255559

The Drachma Parents Group is also an active group within Drachma.  Their mission is that of providing support to parents and friends of LGBT people, read more

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If at any time you require support or you feel like you would like to express your thoughts freely to a person who will understand you, send us an email on support@maltagayrights.org

You may also call the National Gay Helpline, run by MGRM... Tel: +356 21430006 / +356 99255559

Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM)

32, Parish Street ,
Mosta ,
MST 2021,
Malta (Europe).
T: +356 2143 0009
M: +356 9925 5559
E: mgrm@maltagayrights.org

The Drachma Parents Group is also an active group within Drachma.  Their mission is that of providing support to parents and friends of LGBT people, read more