Ken Norman wants Saskatchewan laws to protect gender expression

Human Rights heavyweight Ken Norman says Saskatchewan laws need to specifically protect gender expression.

Former Human Rights commissioner says laws here lagging behind

An early and prominent supporter of human rights in Saskatchewan is speaking out about the rights of transgender people.

Ken Norman was the province's first human rights commissioner and helped draft the code in 1978.

Ken Norman (Twitter)
Norman, who now teaches law at the University of Saskatchewan, said that simply offering protection against discrimination on the grounds of gender is not enough. It needs to provide protection for gender expression.

"I think nothing short of clear legislated explicit recognition by the government will solve it," he said. "I think trans people are increasingly ready to be vocal about some of the various barriers they face."

Human rights codes in Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Ontario already enshrine the rights of transgender people.

Removal of sex from birth certificates

Norman stepped up after CBC News covered a story about the mother of a transgender child who wants the Saskatchewan government to remove any record of a person's sex on birth certificates.

Fran Forsberg has filed a complaint to Saskatchewan's Human Rights Commission on behalf of her six-year-old child, Renn, after the province's Vital Statistics Agency refused to change Renn's sex designation from male to female on the youngster's birth records.

Renn was born with male genitalia but has identified as a girl since the age of three. According to the Canadian Pediatric Society, children establish their gender identity between 18 to 30 months.

When Forsberg sought to change Renn's birth record, she submitted reports from a physician and psychologist confirming that Renn identifies as a female. The Vital Statistics Agency denied the request.