The Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement (MGRM) alongside Allied Rainbow Communities, Drachma, LGBTI+ Gozo, Aditus, Checkpoint Malta, Moviment Graffitti and MMSA gathered in front of The Honorary Consulate of The Slovak Republic in Valletta on Thursday 4th May 2023 to show solidarity with the transgender community in Slovakia and to express concern about the proposed bill that would make legal gender recognition impossible in Slovakia. MGRM co-coordinator Cynthia Chircop spoke out against the bill, which would require transgender individuals to undergo a genetic test to prove that their gender was incorrectly determined at birth, a test that would be virtually impossible for most transgender individuals to pass.
Chircop emphasised that the proposed bill would not only deprive transgender people of the opportunity to have their gender identity recognized legally but also goes against the right to self-determination and international human rights law. “The intention of this law is clear; to dehumanise, oppress and erase the transgender community,” said Chircop. “It will increase the risk of bullying, discrimination and violence that they already face. Everyone should be treated equally in front of the law, regardless of their gender identity.”
MGRM called on the Maltese government to put pressure on the Slovak government to reject this bill. “Malta has been a leader in LGBTIQ rights in Europe with the most progressive laws protecting the LGBTIQ community for the past seven years,” said Chircop. “These laws and policies have allowed the transgender community in Malta to live their lives openly, access healthcare and support to affirm their identity, and contribute to society.”
Chircop also highlighted the negative consequences of anti-trans legislation and policies in countries like the US, Hungary, and Poland. “We know what hate and intolerance lead to; violence, erosion of democracy, and destruction. We need to take action today,” said Chircop.
MGRM invited Maltese MEPs and elected officials to take action to support transgender rights in Slovakia, including urging the Slovak government to withdraw the bill. “Being a passive bystander is being complicit to oppression, even if it’s not in our own country. Silence is not an option because transgender rights are human rights. And human rights belong to everyone,” said Chircop.
MGRM believes that the Maltese government, which is responsible for the world’s most progressive LGBTIQ laws, has an important story to tell about how Malta’s laws have led to a better quality of life for LGBTIQ people. By bringing forward tangible impacts that trans legislation in Malta has had on the LGBTIQ community, MEPs and the Maltese government can use their influence and legal powers to persuade the Slovak government to withdraw the bill.
MGRM and other LGBTIQ rights organisations will continue to monitor the situation in Slovakia and call for the protection of transgender rights.