We know what the Church’s position is when it comes to same-sex marriages. We’ve heard it all time and time again. But what about the other side? Do we know what the LGBTQ+ Community has to say about the Church in Malta?
Lovin Malta’s online survey on religion in Malta shed some light on the topic. We’re very aware that the answers we got are a very narrow representation of what most think, and that not everyone holds the same views. Of these respondents, nearly all stated that they were Christian, while 71% saying that they attend Mass only on special occasions. 17.6% of respondents said that they never go to Mass, while 11.4% said that they attend once a week.
But here, nonetheless, is what they had to say.
Homosexuals on growing up in Malta
Maltese society was a highly close-knit, closed and largely traditional community during most of contemporary times (we’re thinking post-WWII). So anyone with even one toe out of the line was largely shunned.
And that’s bound to leave its mark on a person. As this person said, “Growing up in Malta the Church had quite the impact – I remember that you could not watch a Xarabank show about gay people without a priest there. Ridiculous.”
Those of a non-heterosexual sexual orientation felt embarrassed and guilty to be who they were. Social pressure on them was real and intense. But what does this say about their own private religious beliefs?
So, has Malta changed and do those in the LGBTQ+ community feel more accepted by the Church?
Our survey results are inconclusive about this. But it does shed light on a variety of views. This respondent explained it clearly; “I am in a gay relationship – so sometimes I do wonder about certain things.”
One respondent said that “being gay hasn’t changed a thing in my beliefs as I am a normal Catholic person who tries to live a normal and good life.” But a younger respondent said, “Well being gay and not being accepted by the church is rough.”
But it isn’t the same for everyone. One person showed this by saying, “I am openly gay but still attend mass regularly. Sometimes I don’t feel accepted in my religion but I believe that God made all of us.” There are those who feel accepted, no matter their sexual orientation. Like this woman, who asserted that “I’m lesbian and I still pray and believe that if Jesus had to come on this Earth today he’d still love me.”
Others feel that the Church looks at them with disgust, like this person who said that “I’m bisexual, so it’s hindered me from being completely myself, especially with the older generation/avid churchgoers that still think me and whomever I love are unnatural.”
How willing are the respondents from the LGBTQ+ Community to let the Church have a say on their relationships?
The general remark that we got here is that because they are gay, then they won’t be able to get married in Church. We also got the response of no, the Church doesn’t have a say on their relationships.
“Well as a lesbian, the church doesn’t have much say in our relationship. She was raised atheist anyway.”
Most agreed that there’s no need to attend Mass to be a Christian, as a large proportion of our 1,000 survey respondents said – regardless of their sexual orientation or age.
So long as anyone is able to live good lives with good morals, be humble, and love well, then these respondents don’t see why they should feel anything other than positive about who they are and how they choose to live.