Thursday, 27 June 2013, 11:39 , by Duncan Barry
Now that the second reading of amendments to the Civil Code has been approved in parliament, the bill is set to start being discussed in committee stage on Monday, according to Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties Helena Dalli.
Through the Civil Code amendments, transgenders may marry partners of their choice according to their 'acquired' gender and will not find difficulties from the director of the public registry when applying for the publication of marriage banns after having their gender reassigned.
The amendment follows the controversial case of Joanne Cassar, whether trans-gender persons should be allowed to marry people of the opposite sex after gender reassignment surgery.
The government and Ms Cassar recently reached an out-of-court settlement which ended a European Court case instituted by Cassar after she was stopped from marrying a man.
Dr Dalli was giving an overview of the work conducted by her ministry in civil rights sector, one of a number of sectors that fall under her remit.
She said that a Private Member’s Bill presented two years ago by then shadow minister for civil liberties Evarist Bartolo and which was shelved by the previous administration, would be brought back to the drawing board, referring to the Gender Identity Bill.
Dr Dalli said that she spoke to the Law Commissioner so that the constitutional reform will include the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and on gender identity while pointing out that a consultative council comprising LGBT NGOs had been set up.
She said that she took part in a ministerial meeting held at The Hague where a number of EU ministers signed a joint call to the European Commission to adopt a comprehensive policy approach at European level to fight discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Dr Dalli said that it emerged, in a survey based on a 90,000 individual sample conducted across the EU, that LGBT persons were bullied at school and at the place of work, including sucicide cases related to such bullying.
She said that it was up to us politicians and society in general to work hard and build a society where the next generation can enjoy civil liberty rights and will not be discriminated against.
“Passing laws to protect LGBT people is helpful but it is not the solution to the problem,” she said.
Dr Dalli also highlighted her government's committment to separate Church from State marriages.