It was to government’s pleasure that the Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act was adopted nem com, and thus with the support of both sides of the House. This shows that government succeeded in ensuring wide support for human rights and equality even with regard to minority issues.
Government is also very satisfied that the Labour Party’s efforts for the recognition of trans people both while in opposition and now while in government have been vindicated by the international press and international civil society, both agreeing that the Maltese GIGESC Act is “ground breaking” and a “milestone” in its field.
Nonetheless, it is important to ensure that history is not re-written. On Saturday, April 4, Times of Malta reported that a spokesman for the Opposition had insisted the Nationalist Party was “proactive in drafting [the Bill] from its inception”. This claim is untrue.
The GIGESC Act was originally formulated by the Malta Gay Rights Movement in 2010 and submitted to Parliament as a Private Member’s Bill by Evarist Bartolo. Nonetheless, it was never tabled by the previous Administration, and was therefore never discussed.
Following the election of the Labour government, the LGBTIQ Consultative Council was set up and government provided it with the power to provide policy advice and draft bills that are relevant to the LGBTIQ community.
It was indeed the Council with assistance from the Ministry of Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties that revisited the original Bill, adapted it and resubmitted it to government.
At no point during the process was the Opposition proactive in the drafting of the Bill let alone from its inception.