The Malta Gay Rights Movement is this morning holding its annual Pride Parade, this time in Sliema.

About 150 people are taking part, marching behind a colourful arch made of balloons, and a corps of drums. Many of the participants are blowing whistles as they walk from Surfside towards St Anne Square.

Also at the head of the parade is a banner which reads "If you are not outraged you are not paying attention." The banner refers to inequality.

Picture - Jason Borg.Picture - Jason Borg.

Among those who are attending is Justice Minister Chris Said, MPs from both sides and the US Ambassador with her family. Ambassador Gina Abercombie-Winstanley is wearing rainbow colours. She said she wished to show solidarity with all sectors of Maltese society.

A placard reads 'Minister how long do we have to wait' - a reference to civil partnerships. A Cohabitation Bill, is expected to be presented to parliament next week by Dr Said.

The MGRM said the theme of Pride Week -  'I am'-  is meant to remind everyone that LGBT individuals are part of society - just people, everywhere, living their lives and being themselves.

"The only difference is that we still have to fight for rights that other people take for granted.. safe streets and schools, acceptance from parents, being treated equally in employment, recognition of our relationships and families, free healthcare."

It said the LGBT community in Malta has come a long way.

"We are visible as never before and our voices are loud and clear and many."

Pride Week events also include a film festival, a football tournament and the Official Gay Pride Party.

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