Malta: Anti-gay politician selected for EU health job

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LGBT-supporting members of the European Parliament are challenging Malta’s nominee for the EU’s top health job because of his previous opposition to gay and women’s rights.

Tonio Borg is the former deputy prime minister of Malta and an ex-foreign affairs minister.

He has been nominated to become the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy.

The position presides over European policy issues such as access to healthcare, contraception, sexually transmitted diseases and stem cell research.

On Tuesday, the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety will be questioning Mr Borg for the position.

Mr Borg, a Catholic, is known for his anti-gay views and opposition to abortion.

He is reported to have said gay couples could not expect to be eligible for social housing during a debate in Malta’s Parliament in 2009.

However, according to Malta Today, Mr Borg has insisted his views on gay rights have “evolved” and that he is looking to advance legislation, such as easing the restrictions, which prevent gay men from donating blood across the EU.