A consultative council has been appointed by the ruling Labour government to give recommendations and prepare upcoming legislation relating to LGBT people.

The council was formed by Social Dialogue Minister Helena Dalli after the first reading of a bill that will allow trans people who undergo gender reassignment to marry a person with the same birth gender.

The government has been forced to introduce a law after it dropped opposition to a case brought against it on the issue in the European Court of Human rights. oanne Cassar, a 31-year-old hairdresser, began legal proceedings in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in 2011 after she was prevented from marrying on the island.

The council will be headed by Cyrus Engerer and will be composed of LGBT campaigners and voluntary organisation heads. The council will also prepare for the introduction of same-sex civil unions and a transgender recognition bill.

In January, the prime minister Joseph Muscat, promised that the Labour party would allow gay couples to have civil unions and for a new identity law for trans people if he won the election last month.

He said “We have waited too long to move ahead an give these persons their rights. We truly want Malta for all and want everyone to feel that Malta is theirs.”

Mr Muscat went on to say that granting equal rights to LGBT people was not an issue of tolerance, but embracing that LGBT people deserve equal rights as everyone else.

The Labour party decriminalised homosexuality in Malta forty years ago in 1973.