Malta is now leading with one of the most comprehensive laws protecting trans and intersex people in the world.
They will no longer need to have surgery, sterilization and a diagnosis of mental illness to legally change gender under a law passed yesterday (1 April).
It will also ban medically unnecessary surgery on the genitals of intersex infants.
‘To say that this Act is a groundbreaking human rights milestone is almost an understatement.’ Paulo Paulo CÃ´rte-Real, co-chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board,said.
‘It provides an inspirational benchmark for other European countries that need to improve their own LGBTI equality standards. The Act is a beacon of hope – and bears testament to the political leadership and hard work of the LGBTI movement in Malta.’
The passage of the Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act (GIGESC) followed an apology from the governent to a trans woman Joanne Cassar who was successful in her fight to marry her husband.
The following year, gender identity was added to the constitutional list of non-discrimination and trans people were afforded protection under national employment laws.
The third reading was passed with a unanimous vote. The bill will now be sent to President Maria Louise Coleiro Preca for her signature.
Maltese Member of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, Miriam Dalli MEP, said: ‘I am very proud to be from a country that has from now on the most comprehensive and respectful laws when it comes to the rights of trans and intersex people.”
“No one should be declared mentally ill, undergo forced surgery or being forced to go through a divorce, in order to be recognised as who they truly are. I sincerely hope that the whole of Europe will follow Malta’s example, and that such degrading practices will be issues of the past.’