Court delays gender case as N.L. drafts birth-certi cate legislation
Gender identity crusader Gemma Hickey called it a “big victory” Friday as her court challenge over non-binary birth certi cates was delayed while Newfoundland and Labrador moves to legalize gender-neutral options.
“It’s a proud day for Newfoundland and Labrador,” Hickey said on the steps of the provincial Supreme Court building in St. John’s.
“We weren’t the rst place in Canada to do it, but second is pretty good and I feel very happy today. I feel very validated.”
A lawyer for the province asked for a postponement in the unique legal challenge over Hickey’s bid for gender-neutral birth certi cates.
Crown attorney Jessica Pynn told the court that the province wants the case put o because it plans to introduce necessary legal changes this fall. It was set over to Dec. 14.
The province said Thursday it will bring in legislation this fall allowing for a change of sex designation from female or male to non-binary.
Sex information will still be collected at birth, but people 12 and older will be able to choose an “X” on their birth certi cate. Children aged 12 to 15 will still require a parent to apply on their behalf, with the child’s consent also required.
The government also said it will remove the requirement for a statement from a medical professional prior to a sex-designation change for those 16 and older.
Hickey said that change is particularly important because such a prerequisite “pathologizes” gender identity.
“People can decide for themselves how they choose to identify,” she said.
Those changes would shortcircuit the legal fight with Hickey, who argues the current Vital Statistics Act contravenes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Hickey identi es as non-binary and was believed to be the rst person in Canada to apply for a non-binary birth certi cate.