Monday, May 23, 2011, 12:58
The Malta Gay Rights Movement this afternoon expressed its disappointment after the Constitutional Court upheld an appeal by the Attorney General in the Joanne Cassat transgender case.
The MGRM argued that the failure of the Maltese Constitutional Court to recognise Joanne Cassar as a woman who could marry a man went against the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights as expressed in Goodwin vs UK and other recent judgements and jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice.
The sentence delivered by the Constitutional Court presided by Judges Geoffrey Valenzia, Giannino Caruana Demajo and Tonio Mallia affirmed that a breach of articles 8 & 12 of the Convention on Human Rights had taken place in respect of Joanne Cassar. However the Court stated that this breach occurred due to a lacuna in Maltese legislation that did not allow for transgender persons to enter into what it termed 'a life partnership'.
"The Court did not recognise the right of the post-operative transgender woman to have her affirmed gender identity recognised by law, adopting the narrowest possible interpretation of gender based solely on biological criteria," the MGRM said.
It said that gender identity was a matter for the individual to decide and the State was duty bound to respect this identity by granting full and effective legal recognition. Anything less than this violated the right of the individual to self-determination and often led to a violation of the transgender person's rights to private and family life.
"This implies the right of women like Joanne Cassar who have satisfied all the legal requirements to change their gender to then marry a person of the opposite sex, in this case a man."
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