Monday, 20 December 2010

MaltaStar: Gay rights movement welcomes court's decision for transsexuals' right to marry


The Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM) has welcomed the recognition of the right of transsexuals to marry, in a landmark judgement of the Constitutional Court on 30th November.

The judgement was made in the case of Joanne Cassar vs Director of Public Registrar

In a statement, MGRM noted the fact that the judgement made extensive reference to the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECrtHR).

The ECrtHR clearly states that biology is not the sole determining factor in determining gender and that current thinking and practice also give considerable importance to psychological factors.

Moreover, the ECrtHR held that the margin of appreciation allowed to States did not go so far as to permit the denial of a fundamental right such as the right to marry for persons of the opposite legal sex.

While this judgement is a step forward for all post-operative trans persons, a great deal still needs to be achieved for the rights of transgender persons to be fully respected.

The Fundamental Rights Agency in its updated report on Homophobia, Transphobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (2010) calls on EU Member States to “abolish divorce and genital surgery as preconditions to the rectification of the recorded sex or alteration of name on official documents.”

On the 10th December - Human Rights Day - the MGRM will be launching a proposed Gender Identity Bill for Malta which seeks to offer comprehensive legal protection and redress to trans persons. It is hoped that this will build on the progress that has been made in recent years, MGRM said.

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