Malta should introduce civil unions for same-sex couples because marriage is "one step too far for Malta at this time", according to the Today Public Policy Institute.

It would be "premature and impolitic" to introduce gay marriage at this time, the think-tank concluded.

Its report called for civil unions to be enacted without further delay but said a longitudinal scientific study should be established to look at the sensitive issue of the effects on children in same-sex relationships to determine how to frame the legislation.

It added that the Government should actively consider the inclusion of gender reassignment surgery and hormone therapy for transgender persons as part of the public health service, subject to affordability.

Meanwhile, anti-discrimination legislation should also be enacted to safeguard the rights of LGBT people, including by making homophobic and transphobic violence and hate crimes criminal offences.

Entitled "Same sex: Same civil entitlements", the report was published on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

Lead author Martin Scicluna said same-sex couples had been neglected by Parliament for too long.

The report, he said, was intended to stimulate public debate on the matter and would contribute to the Government's consultative council on same-sex rights.

The full report can be read in the pdf link below.

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