a high-level conference on LGBTIQ Equality Mainstreaming, Minister for Social
Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties Helena Dalli announced that,
following a recent cabinet decision, Identity Malta is working on the internal
system to roll out non-binary X gender passports and ID cards in the coming
This will be
further facilitating the lives of trans and intersex people as they would no
longer be restricted to identifying themselves as male or female on their
said that this decision follows various initiatives that have been introduced
by the government in the past three years after the enactment of the Gender Identity,
Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act in April 2015. These include a trans-intersex policy in schools, a policy for trans prisoners,
and gender neutral toilets across all ministries, Parliament, and the law
said that through this law, the government will secure rights for trans and
intersex people for
the first time. Trans persons are now free to change their legal gender on
official documents following a public deed, and will be
able to rectify it on all documents, ranging from
passports to ID cards, to educational certificates and any other official
To date, 67 trans persons have benefitted from this
said that since the adoption of civil unions in April 2014, 169 couples have
tied the knot and became officially recognised under this law, 22 of which have
converted their foreign marriage certificates into
domestic ones. In addition, Malta has also witnessed the first joint adoption
by a gay couple, with five other couples now in the process of
doing the same.
“Us politicians are here to help shape
public opinion and not be led by it. Countries that are often discounted as not
ripe for progress can change, and can change fast
the moment that there is the political will and a strong civil society”,
emphasised Helena Dalli.
Vice-President of the European
Parliament and Co-President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBTI
Rights Ulrike Lunacek praised Minister Dalli and the Maltese Presidency for
putting LGBTIQ rights at the centre.
“What you are doing here, with
the successes you have had and you have fought for, and with civil society
here, is really something that I strongly appreciate and thank you for,
especially coming from a very Catholic
country myself—Austria—that has not achieved as much as you have been doing during the past
years”, stated Vice-President Lunacek.
The conference was also addressed by various
speakers including Director of the European Union
Fundamental Rights Agency Michael O'Flaherty and Director-General, European Commission DG Justice and Consumers Tiina Astola.
In a number of different panel
discussions, the conference discussed LGBTIQ equality mainstreaming in
healthcare, education, and in the context
of public safety.