The first LGBT event at the representation of member states of the EU was organized by the Italian presidency of the EU Council and the Fundamental Rights Agency. The lively discussions amongst the 400+ policy makers, academics and activists underlined the need for the EU to show leadership for a comprehensive and ambitious political strategy on EU and national levels inclusive of gender identity and gender expression.
“We welcome this event as an important first step towards a comprehensive EU strategy on LGBTI equality. We are ready to work together with the EU Institutions and member states towards it.“ Julia Ehrt, Executive Director of Transgender Europe, comments.
Julia Ehrt highlighted as conference panellist the human rights violations trans people still face. The audience was shocked to learn that 12 EU member states still require sterilisation for a trans person’s change of name and gender marker. She called upon policy makers: “Do not legislate in the past when reforming legal gender recognition legislation!“
However, encouraging change is underway. Today a draft gender recognition bill has been presented at the Maltese parliament for the first reading. The law, if enacted, would fully respect trans people’s human rights.
The law will introduce the right to gender identity and enact a simple administrative procedure based solely on self-determination. Upon a notary declaration that one’s gender identity does not correspond to the assigned sex in the act of birth, the change of name and gender is enacted within 2 weeks. Requesting proofs of medical interventions, such as surgeries, hormone treatment or a
psychological evaluation is prohibited. The procedure is accessible for Maltese citizens and minors can access the procedure through a court procedure. Upon gender recognition a person has the right to request that any educational, employment or other key document or certificate is adapted.
The proposal also foresees discrimination protections, establishing that every norm, regulation or procedure must respect the human right to gender identity as well as proactive measures by public service.
“We welcome the Maltese proposal as nothing less than ground-breaking. Maltese parliamentarians should now fully support this important project and act as an inspiration to policy makers in other countries.“ comments Ehrt.
“The time has come for trans people to have the right to gender identity unconditionally recognized. We are proud that TGEU’s gender recognition checklist was instrumental to make sure that the Maltese law respects the human right to gender identity without discrimination on grounds of age, single, medical or other status.” comments Richard Köhler, TGEU senior policy officer.
“Tackling sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination: next steps in EU and Member State policy making” conference website: http://fra.europa.eu/en/event/2014/tackling-sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity-discrimination-next-steps-eu-and-member
The Checklist Legal Gender Recognition can be found at: http://tgeu.org/Checklist_LGR
The Maltese Bill and supporting information can be found at www.msdc.gov.mt/GIGESC
Transgender Europe is a European human rights NGO working for the human rights and equality of all trans people. More Information: www.tgeu.org
Transgender or Trans is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity or expression differs from the sex assigned to them at birth.
TGEU Senior Policy Officer Richard Köhler is available for interviews and questions and can be reached at:
phone: +49 (0)30 5360 2668