Malta: Surgery and Sterilization Scrapped in Progressive Gender Identity Law

Transgender people in Malta will no longer need to have surgery, sterilization and a diagnosis of mental illness to legally change gender under a law passed last week, which rights groups hailed as a new benchmark for LGBTI rights in Europe. The majority of countries in Europe require transgender people to undergo a series of medical procedures, be diagnosed with a mental disorder, and get divorced if married in order to have their desired gender legally recognized by the government.

The Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act makes Malta only the second European nation, after Denmark, to allow transgender people to change their legal gender without any medical or state intervention.

The law also prohibits medically unnecessary surgery on the genitals of intersex infants, making Malta the first country in the world to do so, said ILGA-Europe, a network of European lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) groups. Read More