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University investigating Stephen Florian comments

Lecturer had outed a transgender person over Facebook

Dr Florian.

Dr Florian.

The University of Malta has said it is investigating visiting lecturer Stephen Florian, after he outed a transgender person who protested against an anti-immigrant rally. 

Dr Florian, who lectures in the Spanish and Latin American Studies department and is also a member of the self-proclaimed Għaqda Patrijotti Malti, was roundly condemned after posting a rant directed at Alex Caruana on Facebook. 

The post that prompted the outrage. Photo: FacebookThe post that prompted the outrage. Photo: Facebook

"How can the girl who now calls herself Alexander... integrate with the Muslim community," Dr Florian asked in part of the post. 

In a statement issued this afternoon, the University said that it disassociated itself "unreservedly" from any actions which promoted discrimination or incitement of racial hatred. 

"Whilst affirming the right to freedom of expression and association, the University of Malta condemns all actions which are motivated, wholly or partly by any form of hostility towards diverse groups," the University statement read. 

"The University prides itself in fostering diversity and provides a welcoming learning environment to more than 12,000 students including over a thousand undergraduate and postgraduate students hailing from 92 countries. The lecturing community is in itself international and diverse."

The statement clarified that Dr Florian was a visiting part-time lecturer and "not a full-time academic." 

Following Dr Florian's Saturday Facebook post, sociology professor Mark Anthony Falzon had said that he would be taking the matter up with University authorities, as well as the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality. 

Dr Florian subsequently issued an apology, saying he had made an error of judgment "out of haste". 

 

 

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