Ms Joanne Cassar of Malta has been fighting for the right to get married since 2006. But due to being a transsexual who was once a man the Maltese government refused to grant Joanne the right to marry.
Joanne sued the government with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) claiming that a “right to marriage” outlined in the European Convention on Human Rights had been violated.
The European Rights Court in Strasbourg has agreed to hear the case but Malta’s government has ruled that marriage of a man and woman must refer to a determination of gender by biological criteria. However, the ECHR declared sex could also be determined by “social” identity.
The ruling, which is set for later this year, could make social-sexual identity prevail over a biological one and separate marriage from family as the European Court had done in 2002 when it separated the right to marry from starting a family.