Transsexual can get married, court rules
Fri, February 16, 2007
A court has ordered the director of Public Registry to issue the marriage banns for a transsexual, who was born a man but was legally declared a woman following gender reassignment surgery.
Mr Justice Gino Camilleri gave the order after noting that the union between the transsexual, now a woman, and her male partner did not go against any provision of the Marriage Act.
Lawyers contacted by The Times said they believed this ruling was the first of its kind and may lead to the first civil marriage of a transsexual.
This case contrasts with a judgment delivered by the Civil Court three years ago.
In that judgment the court had upheld the request of another woman (who had had the same type of surgery) and ordered the director to make an annotation to the applicant's birth certificate to show that she was female and bore a woman's name.
But the court had refused to declare her a woman for the purposes of the Marriage Act, remarking it would take much more to convince it to go against the dictates of natural law and allow marriage between two people who were, at the end of the day, of the same sex.
Yesterday, the judge heard how the woman was born a man and, consequently, was registered as male in the birth certificate.
The woman underwent irreversible gender reassignment surgery and last June obtained a court judgment ordering that her sex be altered to female on the birth certificate and that her name be changed to a woman's name of her choice.
The court also ordered the director of Public Registry to make all the necessary corrections in public documents.
All this meant that, legally, the person was declared a female.
But when the woman filed an application at the Public Registry for the publication of marriage banns, the director refused to issue the banns.
The woman filed an application in the Civil Court requesting the court to order the director of Public Registry to issue the marriage banns because she wanted to marry her male partner.
Mr Justice Camilleri upheld the woman's request after noting that the union with her partner did not go against any provisions of the Marriage Act because it was a marriage between two people of the opposite sex.
The name of the woman and her partner are not being published due to the private nature of the case.
Lawyers José Herrera and David Camilleri represented the woman.