Gender markers no longer have to be on Saskatchewan birth certificates following a recent court decision.
The province has become the first jurisdiction where a court has ordered the government to remove gender markers on birth certificates.
“This court order marks an important day in our province. The removal of gender markers from birth certificates will greatly benefit our transgender community,” said David Arnot, Chief Commissioner of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.
The Court of Queen’s Bench order issued Thursday was in response to two human rights complaints filed with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. The Commission applied to the court for a hearing.
The order from the court removes an age limit, allowing people under the age of 18, to apply for changes to the gender marker on their birth certificates.
“Though we as parents did this for our own children, this decision applies to everyone, regardless of age, race or belief. We have fought for over five years for Renn. This victory is a precedent for all who identify as transgender or non-binary or have been harmed by discrimination because of their gender marker, in the lives of our youth and everyone.” said Dr. Fran Forsberg, parent of Renn Forsberg, one of the two key people who took this case forward.
“Renn is a Cree two-spirit young woman and this decision honours her right to live proud and free to be as her spirit guides her.”
The province has 45 days to amend The Vital Statistics Act and The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code to reflect this decision.
“This is an amazing step in the right direction. This will allow every single person in Saskatchewan, regardless of age to be identified as whom they are,” said Dustin Dyck, parent of Jordan Dyck, the other parent who brought this case forward.
The Northwest Territories along with Newfoundland and Labrador allow for non-binary markers on birth certificates. Alberta amended its legislation to allow for such a change.
Just this month, Ontario allowed for “M”, “F”, “X” or for the removal of gender altogether from birth certificates.
-With files from Kevin Martel