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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Parallel crises: How COVID-19 has exacerbated the drug overdose emergency

Part 1: Surrey, White Rock officials say isolation, CERB, contributing to crisis

Pubs accused of ‘negligently’ serving alcohol before Surrey traffic crash

The case concerns an Aug. 2, 2015 single-vehicle crash

Surrey mayor says Newton needs more recreation facilities

Surrey council has approved the “Stage 2 Final Report” of the Newton Town Centre Plan

Surrey city staff hears restricting recovery homes to six clients won’t cut it

Corporate report notes there are more recovery homes in Surrey than in every other community in B.C. combined

Gravestones repaired at Surrey Centre Cemetery

Restoration now complete on seven pioneer grave markers vandalized in April

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

Collision results in train derailment just east of Golden

The derailment occurred Sunday night, according to a statement from CP

Missing Fraser Valley man’s car found in Harrison

Michael Denham has been missing since June 27

Lower Mainland woman says llama farming neighbour shot her 11-month-old pup

Young dog was on owner’s Maple Ridge property when it was killed on June 21

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

Most Read

l -->