Tuesday, 11th January 2011 - 08:26
On Valentine’s Day Joanne Cassar will kick off another phase in her battle to secure her right to marry a man following her gender reassignment surgery seven years ago.
On the day dedicated to lovers, the 29-year-old will start making her case in anticipation of meeting the man of her dreams.
The submissions will be made in appeal proceedings initiated by the Attorney General and the Marriage Registrar, who asked the Constitutional Court to revoke Ms Cassar’s right to marry after a judge ruled in November that her gender reassignment surgery should not prejudice her right to have a husband.
The first sitting of the appeal was meant to take place yesterday but Chief Justice Silvio Camilleri abstained from hearing the case because when he still occupied the post of Attorney General he was involved in preparing the position of the Director of Public Registry. The other two presiding judges are Mr Justice Geoffrey Valenzia and Mr Justice Giannino Caruana Demajo.
The case was put off to February 14.
Ms Cassar’s legal battle dates back to September 2006 when she and her then partner applied for the banns but the Marriage Registrar refused to issue them even though Ms Cassar had legally changed her gender to female on her birth certificate after the surgery.
Last November, Mr Justice Ray Pace ruled the registrar could not have refused to issue the banns for Ms Cassar’s marriage to a man once she was now recognised as a woman.
The law as applied by the registrar, he added, did not recognise the acquired gender of a transsexual for all legal purposes including marriage. This was in breach of Ms Cassar’s fundamental human right to respect for family life and her right to marry.
Ms Cassar is no longer with her partner but is determined to carry on fighting for her right to marry.
Lawyers David Camilleri and José Herrera are representing Ms Cassar.
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