Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Di-ve: Malta Gay Rights pushing for the Gender Identity Bill


The Bill, which was tabled in parliament by Labour MP Evarist Bartolo on the 10th December as a Private Members Bill, seeks to address shortcomings in the current legislation with regards to the rights of transgender persons that better protects their rights and dignity.

In a statement, the Gay Rights Movement said that the current judicial process places significant financial burdens on trans persons who are also required to cover the costs incurred by the Director of Public Registry.

"The judicial process also generally involves the appointment of a court expert to conduct invasive medical examinations to ascertain that irreversible gender reassignment surgery has been undertaken. The requirement that a trans person undergo sex reassignment surgery in order to change their legal sex is in itself problematic particularly when this procedure is not available under the national health service. The state imposition of such treatment in order to effect a legal change in sex is considered to constitute an unnecessary invasion of private life and goes against the dignity of the person particularly when the intervention involves considerable health risks, financial costs and also leads to permanent sterilisation," they explained.

The proposal suggests the setting up of a secret Register for Transgender Persons modeled on the Register for Adopted Persons, a system already available under Maltese law.

The proposed Gender Identity Act seeks to overcome these barriers by changing the judicial process to a purely administrative one and by removing the requisite for gender reassignment surgery, they added.

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