B.C. moves to stop requiring gender markers on birth certificates
The provincial government has introduced a bill that, if passed, would make it possible for people in B.C. to request a birth certificate without a gender marker.
A bill introduced in the B.C. Legislature on Thursday proposed two changes to the Vital Statistics Act: the first to make it possible for people aged 12 and up to change the gender marker on their birth certificate without a physician or psychologist's approval and the second to allow people to ask for a birth certificate without a designation in the first place.
"B.C. is a gender-diverse province, and government is committed to modernizing the ways that we record gender," Health Minister Adrian Dix said during the bill's first reading.
"The government is committed to supporting the health and well-being of two-spirit, transgender, intersex, non-binary and gender-diverse people and making B.C. a more inclusive province when it comes to gender identity," he continued.
Under the current version of the act, birth certificates in B.C. must include a sex designation. The gender F, X or M is automatically displayed, but Dix said, "gender-diverse people may not recognize themselves in those choices."
It's been possible for people aged 12 and over to change their markers without a doctor's confirmation under a new policy passed last January, but the province said updating the act would bring the law into line with those guidelines.
Transgender and non-binary people by province and territory
The changes would also bring B.C. in line with Ontario and Nova Scotia, neither of which require a gender indicator on birth certificates.
The bill needs to pass two more readings and receive Royal Assent before becoming law.
B.C. had the third-highest number of transgender and non-binary people per capita, among provinces and territories, in the 2021 census.