Non-binary gender option coming to Manitoba birth certificates

Manitoba Finance Minister Scott Fielding announces more than $150 million maintenance and repair to the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg Friday, March 15, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Manitobans will soon have a non-binary gender option on birth certificates.

The province is allowing the third option in addition to “male” or “female” on official birth documents.

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The Progressive Conservative government says people will also have the option of not selecting any sex designation on birth and death certificates once a bill currently before the legislature is passed into law.

“In response to a ruling from the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, the Vital Statistics Agency is implementing policy changes to be more inclusive to Manitobans,” Finance Minister Scott Fielding said in a release.

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Last November, a human rights adjudicator ordered the province to pay $50,000 to a transgender individual who wanted the sex designation on their birth certificate replaced with an “X” but was denied.

The complainant, who was identified as T.A. because of a publication ban, filed a complaint with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission after the request was turned down in 2014.

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The independent adjudicator who heard the case, Dan Manning, ruled that the government’s actions were discriminatory and gave the province six months to start offering a third designation.

Some other provinces have already adopted gender-neutral identity documents.

Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador allow people to choose “X” as a gender indicator _ or to not display any gender _ on birth certificates, driver’s licences and other documents.

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