Canada takes steps to advance transgender rights – reports

Source: Thu, 19 Jun 2014 19:45 GMT
A boy holds a large rainbow tarp while taking part in Vancouver's 35th annual Pride Parade in Vancouver, British Columbia August 4, 2013. REUTERS/Ben Nelms
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NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Canada recently implemented two initiatives that significantly advance the rights of its transgender citizens.

On June 15, 12-year-old transgender student Wren Kauffman, who was born a female, was granted a new birth certificate that recognizes him as male, Canadian media reported.

Kauffman was given his new ID by Canada’s culture minister Heather Klimchuck after the boy had logged a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission over the inability to change the sex on his birth certificate due to legislation stating that transgender people must have sex reassignment surgery before they can change their gender on birth certificates.

In April however, Alberta's Premier Dave Hancock announced that the requirement will be dropped, the Canadian Press reported.

Earlier this month, Denmark became the first European country to allow legal change of gender without requiring a medical diagnosis or a psychological assessment stating that the person suffers from gender dysphoria, a condition in which a person doesn’t identify with their birth gender.

On June 16, the Vancouver School Board (VSB) adopted a new school policy that will allow transgender students to be called by the name they choose to reflect their gender identity and to use a restroom of their choice.

The new policy was adopted not without controversy and the chair of the board told CBC news that the consultation process which led to the decision was ‘unprecedented’.

 "We heard research that tells us students who are transgender, who are not well supported, are at disproportionate risk of suicide, self harm and dropping out of school" Patti Bacchus said.

 (This story corrected para 4 to clarify Dave Hanckock is Alberta's Premier)



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