October 17, 2017
The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Sherry Gambin-Walsh, Minister of Service NL:
Government Moving Forward with Gender Neutral Birth Certificates
Mr. Speaker, our government believes in equality for everyone, and we respect the diversity of all individuals. That is why we adopted the policy to allow for a change of sex designation on a birth certificate from female or male to non-binary.
During the fall sitting of this Honourable House, I will introduce amendments to the Vital Statistics Act 2009 which will remove the requirement to submit a statement from a medical professional prior to a change in sex designation for those 16 years of age and older. Children aged 12-15 will still require a parent to apply on their behalf, and consent of the child is also required.
Information pertaining to sex designation at birth will continue to be collected after the amendments have been made. This data is important for personal health service decisions, as well as informing government policy and programs.
Last week, I also announced the new, more secure driver’s licence for our province. Individuals who qualify for a gender neutral birth certificate may also avail of a gender neutral driver’s licence.
Mr. Speaker, we appreciate activist Gemma Hickey’s efforts in bringing this issue forward. It is important that we remain progressive as a government and continue to empower people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
2017 10 17 1:45 p.m.