Court de­lays gen­der case as N.L. drafts birth-certi cate leg­is­la­tion

Truro Daily News - - ATLANTIC -

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.

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