There should be no major opposition to legislation on Trans and Intersex discrimination, according to a government policy adviser working on the Bill.
Silvan Agius, a coordinator at the Ministry for Civil Liberties, was speaking to Times of Malta during a seminar on the challenges that would come after the legislation is approved by Parliament.
The legislation is aimed at doing away with regulations that discriminate against people who do not identify with the traditional male and female roles.
An Intersex person is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn't seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male.
“This has been five years in the making, and we have already had notable cases over the years where the government and the courts have highlighted inadequacies in the existing law and even instances of discrimination,” Mr Agius said, adding that he did not expect similar objections to those raised during the Civil Unions debate.
The Civil Unions Bill, passed last year, was the subject of controversy when the Opposition refused to vote on whether or not the legislation should be brought into force.
The bone of contention was whether or not same sex couples should be able to adopt children, an issue that the Nationalist Party insisted required further debate.
The Bill was brought into legislation despite the PN’s reservations, and was greeted by a large gathering of people who gather in St George’s Square, Valletta to celebrate the news.
Speaking during the conference, MGRM spokeswoman Ruth Baldacchino said gender was being limited to a binary of male and female that was established at birth, and based simply on a person’s genitals.
This, however, was not an adequate indicator of gender, she said, as it was a person’s identity transcended their physical traits.
Illustrating how this could result in discrimination, Dr Baldacchino, who is also a legal executive at the University of Malta, said men were often being excluded from employment such as child care – a profession, she said, that was dominated by women.
The seminar was aimed at professionals working with LGBTI families, policy-makers, legislators, members of the LGBTI community, civil society organisations and other entities interested in understanding and contributing to the relevant themes.
MGRM head Gabi Calleja told Times of Malta, the main challenge would come after the proposed legislation was passed into law.
“We will need a wide ranging policy to ensure that inclusion is really promoted once this law is passed. This is a wide ranging culture shift that needs to be addressed on several levels. Ultimately the issue of gender has a baring all social issues,” she said.
Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.Support Us