Kootenay child granted first non-gendered B.C. health card

Kory Doty’s lawyer says this may be a world first

  • Jun. 30, 2017 3:00 p.m.

Kori Doty’s eight-month-old child has received a health card with a ‘U’ (presumably for unspecified or unknown) where the child’s gender would normally be shown.

A news release from the Gender Free ID Coalition states that Doty, who lives in the Slocan Valley, is the Applicant in a judicial review of the decision by the Vital Statistics Agency to refuse a birth certificate for their child. Doty’s child Searyl was born in B.C., but outside of the medical system, so there was no medical genital inspection when the child was born.

RELATED: Sitting down with trans father Kori Doty

The denial of a birth certificate initially also meant that Doty, themselves a non-binary trans parent, could not get a medical number for their child. But MSP relented. One day without explanation Searyl’s health card (shown below) arrived in the mail, gender “U”.

Doty will argue in the upcoming judicial review that requiring a gender marker on a birth certificate amounts to a violation of Searyl’s rights as a Canadian citizen to life, liberty and security of the person, to freedom of expression, and to equality under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Gender expression has been a protected ground in BC’s Human Rights Code for a year. and has just been added as a ground to the Canadian Human Rights Act.

“I do not gender my child,” says Doty. “It is up to Searyl to decide how they identify, when they are old enough to develop their own gender identity. I am not going to foreclose their choices based on an arbitrary assignment of gender at birth based on an inspection of their genitals.”

The Gender Free I.D. Coalition is supporting Doty in this case, as well as a companion human rights case. Both cases seek to halt the practice of specifying gender on birth certificates.

A similar case against all gendered documents in the Saskatchewan will be heard on July 7 in Regina.

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