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First place in LGBTIQ+ rights index for Malta again

That’s right! Malta has retained first place in the LGBTQI+ Rights Index for the sixth year running and scored 94%, five points more than last year.

The Rainbow Map is essentially a scorecard, which is released every single year by ILGA-Europe, an advocacy group that measures the rights that are enjoyed by LGBTQI+ people in several areas of policy.

Our Maltese islands also received points in relation to new indicators, which have been included in the index for non-binary recognition as well as legal gender recognition procedures for those under the age of 16.

Since 2014, when Malta first legislated for same-sex civil unions, we have seen significant progress in terms of the rights available for the community. Three years later, Malta legislated for marriage equality, banned conversion therapy completely, facilitated the process for people to opt for their preferred gender identity on official documents, changed the in-vitro fertilisation law to make it possible for people within the community to benefit from treatment and adopted other policy measures, ensuring that we made it to the top spot in Europe.

The Rainbow Map ranks 49 European countries on their respective legal and policy practices for LGBTQI+ people. Belgium ranked second after Malta for the fourth time, with a score of 74% and Luxembourg came in at third, with 72%, for the third year in a row.

At the other end of the scale is Azerbaijan with 2%, Turkey with 4% and Armenia with 8%. On the other hand, Denmark is the country with the most dramatic drop in its score, losing a whopping 3.8 points since access to trans-specific healthcare is still linked with a mental health assessment.

There’s more! Malta also won the bid to host EuroPride in 2023, with a focus to offer a ‘safe port of call’ for the community in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, where significant challenges are ever-present.

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