Remove gender from birth certificates, B.C. urged

Health Minister Terry Lake says he's concerned about medical research, limits on travel for B.C. residents

Morgane Oger

Gender identity should be removed from birth certificates, according to a complaint filed with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal on behalf of nine intersex or transgender people.

Morgane Oger, a transgender woman and chair of the Trans Alliance Society, says the forced assignment of gender identity at birth – quickly decided by a doctor inspecting the genitals – discriminates against intersex, trans and other gender non-conforming residents whose assigned gender turns out to be inaccurate or who don’t fully identify as one sex or the other.

A statement issued by the society says misidentified children “suffer grief when they go to school, humiliation when they apply for a driver’s licence and discrimination and danger in every circumstance where someone wants them to ‘prove’ their gender.”

Oger argues there is no valid reason to put gender on birth certificates, adding there are many more sophisticated methods to help identify someone.

“It is indefensible to use a marker which will certainly be wrong, and create havoc for, a predictable number of people.”

Health Minister Terry Lake said B.C. has moved to allow birth certificates to be changed, but removing gender would affect statistics used in medical research.

“We are studying this and looking at other jurisdictions, but we have to be really careful with foundational identity documents like birth certificates, because we want to make sure that we don’t impair people’s ability to travel internationally,” Lake said.

Transgender advocates elsewhere are also advancing cases seeking to remove gender from passports.

Oger said it’s not acceptable to have a third gender option like “other” because “that puts a target on the forehead of anyone with that third option recorded.”

Among the complainants is Harriette Cunningham, a Comox girl labeled male at birth who last year succeeded in getting her birth certificate gender changed to female. In 2013, at the age of 11, she won a Human Rights Tribunal case that led to new provincial legislation making such identification changes easier.

 

Just Posted

Stabbing at Surrey banquet hall sends man to hospital

RCMP says victim has ‘non-life threatening’ injuries, incident still under investigation

South Surrey parking ticket perplexes, frustrates

Theresa Delaney predicts more people will be wrongly ticketed

55-year-old man taken to hospital after fire at Surrey RV park

Firefighters find man suffering from smoke inhalation, burns to face and hands: battalion chief

Coldest Night an event for warm hearts

Sources’ White Rock event one of 130 walkathons across Canada on Feb. 23

Guatemala mission offers hope, health

Peninsula team to visit remote villages, build a home, in Piedra Blanca

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

No Center of Gravity festival in Kelowna this summer: organizers

COG organizers said the hope is to return to the Okanagan in 2020

Most Read

l -->