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'X' gender option to be added to passports and ID cards

Non-binary gender marker to join 'male' and 'female'

‘X’ will be an option, alongside ‘male’ and ‘female’ on passports and identity cards “in the coming weeks”, Civil Liberties Minister Helena Dalli said.

The non-binary ‘X’ gender option on official documents was made possible after Parliament approved the Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act in 2015.

However, Identity Malta, a government agency, had to adapt its internal systems to be able to offer the option on passports and identity cards.

READ: Mr, Mrs, X: President embraces non-binary title

A recent Cabinet decision prompted the agency to go ahead with the process to change its internal systems, Dr Dalli told a conference on LGBTIQ rights yesterday.

The conference dealing with lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and genderqueer equality mainstreaming at the European and national levels was an initiative of Malta’s EU presidency.

Dr Dalli used the speech to outline the dramatic progress in LGBTIQ rights since the last election.

“We politicians are there to help shape public opinion and not be led by it,” she told conference delegates.

Dr Dalli said that since 2014 when the Civil Unions Act became law, 169 couples tied the knot and became officially recognised under this law.

Of these, she said, 22 couples converted their foreign marriage certificates to domestic ones.

The Civil Unions Act allows any couple, even same-sex couples, to join in union with the same rights and obligations as married couples.

“We have also witnessed the first joint adoption by a gay couple, and I am informed that five other couples are now in the process of doing the same,” Dr Dalli said.

The government also introduced a law banning gay conversion therapy and adopted a policy to have gender neutral toilets across all ministries, the parliament building and the law courts.

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