Joanne Cassar welcomes changes to Marriage law after general reassignment casehttp://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20130403/local/committee-to-establish-way-forward-for-civil-unions-being-set-up.463943
Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 10:18
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A consultative committee is to be set up shortly to establish the best way forward for the introduction of civil unions, Civil Liberties Minister Helena Dalli said this morning.
The minister said civil unions were promised in Labour’s electoral programme and the committee will include stakeholders, such as LGBT people, their parents and researchers.
Dr Dalli was addressing a news conference on the out of court settlement reached with the European Court of Human Rights to amend the Maltese marriage act giving people who would have undergonehttp://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20130403/local/committee-to-establish-way-forward-for-civil-unions-being-set-up.463943gender reassignment surgery the right to marry.
Transsexual Joanne Cassar had a case against Malta in the ECHR for breaching her rights by refusing to issue marriage banns after her gender was changed to female on her birth certificate.
Dr Dalli said that although the change in the law, which was to be given priority on Parliament’s agenda, would reduce the suffering other people in Ms Cassar’s situation would have to go through, it would not, unfortunately, change people’s attitude overnight.
“It is easy to change the law but difficult to change the culture into one where everyone’s dignity and rights are respected.
“This is what is needed over and above the change in law,” the minister said.
Ms Cassar said this was a ray of hope after all she had been true. She could now feel truly Maltese and was pleased that the decision to change the law was taken by Malta, rather than the country was forced to do so by a court.
MGRM, Aditus welcome decision
The MGRM and Aditus Foundation welcomed the Government's decision to drop its objection to Ms Cassar's claim to the right to marry.
They also welcomed the Government's pledge to promptly enact the required changes to the Civil Code to ensure recognition of transgender persons as persons of the acquired sex for all intents and purposes, including marriage.
They reiterated the need for a comprehensive Gender Identity Bill, as proposed by MGRM in 2010, that would facilitate the gender recognition of transgender persons and safeguard their fundamental human rights, including the right to respect for privacy and family life.