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Transgender people want sex taken off birth certificates in BC

DH Vancouver Staff May 25, 2015 2:54 pm

The Trans Alliance Society, along with eight other trans and intersex people, have filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal to have sex removed from birth certificates.

As it stands, transgender people in the province can amend their sex on their birth certificates with relative ease, but TAS Chair Morgane Oger says that is not enough since it is easy to trace someone back to their birth gender.

“Even though I’m legally female now and all my documentation’s congruent, the fact is, there are bread crumbs that lead back to those foundational documents,” she says.

In fact, she claims there are many cases of violence against trans people after others discovered their history.

“There are people out there who use this information against you.”

The complaint was sparked by the case of Harriette Cunningham, who successfully lobbied last year to change B.C.’s laws that require surgery to amend legal documents.

And now that it is easier to change your sex on your birth certificate, Oger thinks it would be better to just remove gender altogether.

“Birth certificates are supposed to be immutable. No information on a birth certificate is supposed to change,” she says.

“It’s like your eye colour, or the name of your parent, or the place that you were born. These things will never change no matter what happens to you in your life.”

The tribunal has agreed to hear the case and Oger is optimistic things will change.

“We’re hopeful that the government will realize that it doesn’t make sense to put a self-identity on a birth certificate.”

DH Vancouver Staff
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