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Court orders Saskatchewan, Canada government to remove gender markers on birth certificates

Court orders Saskatchewan, Canada government to remove gender markers on birth certificates

The Saskatchewan Legislative Building

A Canadian judge has ordered the removal of gender markers from Saskatchewan birth certificates.

What happened?

The ruling, made on 24 May, found conflicts between the The Vital Statistics Act and section 12 of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code. The Vital Statistics Act is responsible for how birth, marriage, and death certificates should be handled. The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code prohibits denial of accommodation, service, or facilities based on a protected class such as gender.

This ruling makes Saskatchewan the first Canadian province to have a court ordered allowance of the removal of gender markers on birth certificates.

‘This court order marks an important day in our province,’ said David Arnot, chief commissioner of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, in a statement.

‘The removal of gender markers from birth certificates will greatly benefit our transgender community.’

With this ruling, people under the age of 18 can now apply for changes to the gender marker on their birth certificate. Additionally, one can have the ‘male’ and ‘female’ gender markers removed altogether.

Reactions

‘I’m just so glad it’s over and I am so happy for other children, as well as other non-binary people,’ Fran Forsberg, the mother of a transgender child, told Huffington Post.

Forsberg filed a human rights complaint four years ago on behalf of her child to have the gender marker change from ‘M’ to ‘F,’ or be removed completely.

‘Hopefully this will start the ball rolling for people educating and opening their minds and hearts for the rest of the world. There’s no reason to have gender on government ID or birth certificates. No reason at all.’

A second youth, non-binary 17-year-old Jordyn Dyck, also joined Forsberg’s complaint. Jordyn’s father, Dustin Dyck, told HuffPo that they were ‘overjoyed’ with this decision. Jordyn has a history of being bullied for being non-binary, and is hopeful that being able to show an ID as proof will stop it.

Anything else?

Earlier this month, the very first non-binary birth certificate was issued in the province of Ontario.