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

Cumberland mayoral debate announced prematurely; Leslie Baird declines invitation

Eduardo Uranga hoped to hold the debate Wednesday evening

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

VIDEO: Care-A-Van offers more than just care in a van

Mobile clinic brings medical and social services to the Valley’s most vulnerable

Comox Valley Regional District seeking input on development of Tsolum River Agricultural Watershed Plan

This fall, the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) is inviting the community… Continue reading

Lane closure in Courtenay at Lewis Centre

The City of Courtenay will be working on the water distribution system… Continue reading

Naked man jumping into Toronto shark tank a ‘premeditated’ stunt: official

The man swam in a tank at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Courtenay’s Dingwall Road to be temporarily closed for construction

Next week, the intersection of Dingwall Road and McQuillan Road will be… Continue reading

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

Most Read