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Alberta to make changes to gender identification on government documents

WATCH ABOVE: Changes are on the way for things like birth, death and marriage certificates in Alberta. The Minister of Service Alberta introduced more than 80 changes to the Vital Statistics Act. Quinn Ohler reports.

EDMONTON – Alberta is introducing legislation that will allow people who don’t identify as either male or female to put an X on government documents like marriage certificates.

“These legislative changes continue to advance Alberta into a modern and progressive future, which values the diverse identities and fundamental human rights of all Albertans,” Kristopher Wells, director of the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta, said. “With these important changes, Alberta continues to be a national leader in supporting sexual and gender minorities and their families.”

READ MORE: New policy makes it easier for transgender Albertans to change birth documents 

Service Alberta Minister Stephanie McLean has introduced a bill in the legislature to make 80 changes to birth, death, and marriage records and other related documents.

The proposed legislation clarifies that parents can choose any last name for their child.

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Parents will be allowed to make changes reflecting traditional or cultural naming practices, such as putting the family name before the given name.

“These changes are an important acknowledgement of the principles and values that we share and are foundational to our own profession – recognition of the dignity of all persons, self- determination, social justice and inclusivity,” Lynn L. King, executive director of the Alberta College of Social Workers, said.

READ MORE: Edmonton boy receives gender-amended birth certificate at mayor’s pride brunch 

Privacy rules will also be enhanced to restrict who can access vital records.

Click here to read Bill 29: Vital Statistics and Life Events Modernization Act.

With files from Global News