Thursday, 26 December 2013

Malta Today: Republic Day • Armed Forces, transgender who challenged State, and face of anti-censorship honoured

Government honours Armed Forces maritime and air wing for role in Lampedusa crisis
Friday 13 December 2013 - 12:31 by a Staff Reporter
[Excerpt from the article]

Midalji ghall-Qadi tar-Repubblika:
Joanne Cassar

Malta is honouring Joanne Cassar in recognition of her distinguished service towards a fairer society and the common good of the people of Malta.

In February 2007, the Court upheld a challenge against a decision of the Marriage Registrar not to publish the marriage bans of Ms Joanne Cassar on the ground that her female sex was acquired through an operation and not at birth.

The Court, therefore, ordered that the bans should be published. The Government successfully challenged that decision in the First Hall of the Civil Court and in the Court of Appeal which held that the female sex which had been included in a court-ordered change in Cassar's birth certificate was only intended to protect the right to privacy of the individual but did not give rise to a right to marry a person of the male sex. Cassar took her case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Last April, the government and Cassar reached an out-of-court settlement as a result of which proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights ended. Subsequently, the right of persons to marry a person of the sex opposite to their acquired sex was legislated into the Marriage Act.

This is an important development for Malta towards which Cassar contributed through her determination and perseverance.

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