Gay life in Malta

Find out everything there is to know about gay life in Malta and what to expect.

Malta has made leaps and bounds when it comes to gay rights by granting 88% of total rights, placing Malta ahead of the UK and Belgium.

The ease of gay life in Malta has certainly snowballed in the past few years, both from a legal and social perspective. Until just twenty years ago, being gay in Malta was largely considered a taboo. Yet, in 2016, Malta placed first in ILGA Europe’s Rainbow Map, which takes into consideration laws and regulations directly affecting the LGBT community.

Maltese law grants adoption rights to married couples and single persons, including same-sex gay and lesbian couples and individuals. The first official adoption by a same-sex couple in Malta was in July 2016. IVF access for lesbians is currently illegal, however the present Prime Minister announced, in 2015, the impending introduction of a bill to allow IVF treatment for female same-sex couples.

Malta, today, is one of only five countries in the world who have made LGBT rights equal at constitutional level. The Parliament of Malta unanimously approved a bill which amends the Constitution to add protection from any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. This includes equal opportunities at the workplace. A 2016 Eurobarometer indicated that 65% of Maltese are in favour of same-sex marriage, a huge rise from just 18% in 2006.

When the first gay club opened in Paceville, Malta’s nightlife hot spot, there was a lot of talk. Since then, sex and sexuality taboos have generally dropped, with several Gentlemen’s Clubs also emerging in recent years. Still, there are only few dedicated gay bars, gay clubs and gay events, however there are several gay friendly places.

Malta is increasingly gay friendly. The majority of people are very open minded and even enjoy the revolution, however the older generations and the overtly religious are still resistant. A generally macho male stereotype prevalent in Malta, which nonetheless is changing, means open displays of affection between gay men seem to cause more discomfort than those between lesbian women, if at all.

Generally, social acceptance and gay rights are improving all the time and gay life in Malta is fairly easy.

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