Nfld. & Labrador

Reassignment surgery not necessary to change gender markers on ID, ruling says

Newfoundland and Labrador's Human Rights Board of Inquiry has ruled that transgender people will no longer have to undergo reassignment surgery in order to get a change in sex designation on their birth certificates.

Provincial government said in July it would amend Vital Statistics Act to allow change in gender markers

The Chief Adjudicator of the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Board of Inquiry has ruled that Service NL cease requiring transgender persons to have gender reassignment surgery in order to obtain a change in sex designation on their birth certificate. (CBC)

Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Board of Inquiry has ruled that transgender people will no longer have to undergo reassignment surgery in order to get a change in sex designation on a birth certificate.

The move comes after two Newfoundland and Labrador-born transgender women filed complaints before the commission, after their requests to change their gender markers on their birth certificates were denied by the Registrar of Vital Statistics.

Kimberley Horwood, chief adjudicator with Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Board of Inquiry, said in a ruling last Thursday that Service NL will stop their current practice when it comes to sex designation on birth certificates.

The government department has 30 days to revise the criteria, and another 30 days after that will publicize the changed criteria.

The two transgender women filed separate complaints claiming discrimination based on "prohibited ground of gender identity and gender expression."

"We welcome this decision by the Board of Inquiry to promote trans individuals' improved access to public services, and thank everyone for their collaborative approach to enhancing services for individuals in Newfoundland and Labrador," commission chair Remzi Cej said in a statement. 

In July, the provincial government said it was planning on changing the Vital Statistics Act legislation during the next sitting of the House of Assembly.

Service NL is expected to post information Wednesday on how individuals can go about changing gender designation on their birth certificates. 

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