A gender neutral option will now be available on Canadian passports and Government documents – in the latest move by Justin Trudeau’s Government to promote LGBT rights.
The Canadian Government has announced that an “X” option will appear alongside “M” for male and “F” for female. The Government claimed it was to advance the country’s “agenda on gender equality, diversity and inclusion”.
In the UK, the Women and Equalities Committee has previously recommended that the terms “male” and “female” be removed from official forms and documentation because they are “distressing” for transsexual people.
Canadian Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen claimed the decision would help Canadians to “express their gender as they choose”.
Rebecca Stinson, head of trans inclusion at UK LGBT lobby group Stonewall, welcomed the move and also called on the UK Government to adopt the same approach.
Sex fields are mandatory on all travel documents under International Civil Aviation Organisation rules.
The announcement comes shortly after a law was introduced which could lead to Canadians who refuse to endorse transsexualism being charged with a hate crime, fined or even jailed.
Critics say Bill C-16 may compel citizens to use the terms ‘ze’ and ‘zir’ when asked, instead of ‘he’ and ‘she’.
The Campaign Life Coalition described the Bill as “tyrannical” and “nothing but social engineering to the nth degree, all in the name of political correctness”.
In 2016, the Women and Equalities Committee called for the UK Government to move towards the “non-gendering” of official records as a “general principle” and only record the sex of an applicant when it is a “relevant piece of information”.
And the Government diluted rules for people changing the sex recorded on their passport.
Previously, if someone wanted to change their stated sex, they had to provide a doctor’s letter to prove that they were permanently living as the opposite sex. But now they only have to fill out a form and supply Her Majesty’s Passport Office with some ‘supporting documentation’.
This move was met with concern by Simon Calvert, Deputy Director for Public Affairs at The Christian Institute, who stressed that such measures do nothing to resolve the underlying issues.