Babies Born In British Columbia May Soon Have No Gender Identified at Birth1
By Michal Ortner
The Human Rights Tribunal in British Columbia has decided to consider removing gender identification on the birth certificates of infants because of objections by the Trans Alliance Society (TAS) and others who believe that determining gender is a process.
“Birth certificates [may]give false information about people and characterize them in a way that is actually wrong, that assumes to be right, and causes people … actual harm,” said TAS chairperson Morgane Oger, who is also a transgender woman.
“It’s considered true and infallible when it isn’t,” Oger added. “Birth certificates are supposed to be … things that don’t change, whereas gender identity is … something that can change in some individuals.”
A lawyer, barbara findlay, who asks that her name be written in all lower-case letters, gave two reasons for justifying the change in birth certificate protocol. She says that there are more than two genders and that a person’s “gender develops” over time.
“Children are raised ‘as’ the birth-assigned gender, which is a crazy-making experience,” findlay said in an e-mail to the Christian Post.
“Instead of living in a social reality that recognizes that gender develops, and does not exist at birth, those children have nothing to work with except that something feels profoundly wrong,” she wrote. “Getting to the stage of being able to ‘change’ gender is an anguishing process, in which a child often experiences severe pushback from their own families.”
According to findlay, asking someone what they believe their gender should be is the law and that “trumps what is between one’s legs.”
Harriette Cunningham is among the youngest British Columbia residents to have an edited birth certificate, changing from male to female. The parents of the transgender child, Colin and Megan Cunningham, believe that “Harriette was mistakenly assigned the gender ‘male’ at birth.”
“Since it is impossible to tell an individual’s gender at birth, it is discriminatory to issue a birth certificate with that information on it,” the Cunninghams’ complaint stated.
Karen Busby, a law professor at the University of Manitoba, is sympathetic to those who want the option removed from their vital records, but she says it brings a long list of complications for a very small minority.
“It’s just a minefield,” she said.
“The Human Rights Tribunal in British Columbia will consider completely eliminating gender designations from birth certificates in response to complaints from the Trans Alliance Society (TAS) and other transgender individuals,” the Tribunal said in a statement that promised to reconsider the necessity of gender assignment for the certificates.