Male, Female, or X? New Gender Neutral Legislation
Equality. Respect. Diversity.
Equality and respect for the diversity of all individuals are important values for the Liberal Government.
Today, debate began in the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly on Bill 20 – Amendments to the Vital Statistics Act, 2009, which allow for a change of sex designation on a birth certificate from female or male to non-binary (for those 16 years of age and older) without a note from a medical professional. In terms of children aged 12 – 15, the changes to the Act will still require a parent to apply on their behalf, and consent of the child is also required.
Information pertaining to the sex of an individual will continue to be collected at birth after the amendments to the Act have been made, in an effort to maintain data that is valuable for a population.
This is progressive legislation and another positive step this Liberal Government is taking to ensure inclusion for everyone.
Identity is a very personal thing for individuals and it is important that they choose for themselves how they want to identify. You hear stories of people being harassed and even assaulted after presenting IDs that do not meet the gender identified on that ID. What this amendment does is remove some of the democratic red tape involved in this process, allowing individuals to simply identify in the way they want to be identified.
Newfoundland and Labrador is the first jurisdiction in Canada to eliminate the doctor’s note requirement.