Canadian province told by court to allow people to remove gender from birth certificates

A Canadian province will now allow birth certificates without a gender marker following a court judgment.

In a ruling issued on Friday, the government of the Saskatchewan province of Canada responded to two complaints made in court to allow people to remove the gender marker on their birth certificates.

In 2014, Fran Forsberg filed a human rights complaint on behalf of her daughter Renn to have the gender on her birth certificate changed from an ‘M’ to an ‘F.’

As well as asking for the gender to be changed, Forsberg then took the case one step further and asked for the gender to be removed from the document altogether.

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission took the complaints to court, but prior to a hearing, the provincial government of Saskatchewan agreed to the change to birth certificates which was confirmed by a judge.

Greeting the decision, Forsberg told HuffPost: “I’m just so glad it’s over and I am so happy for other children, as well as other non-binary people.

“Hopefully this will start the ball rolling for people educating and opening their minds and hearts for the rest of the world.

“There’s no reason to have gender on government ID or birth certificates. No reason at all.”

(ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

As well as Forsberg, the complaint was made by non-binary teen Jordyn Dyck, who joined the complaint last year.

The teen had been bullied for their gender identity by classmates after coming out as agender or non-binary in 2015.

Related: Canada has made its national anthem gender-neutral

Dyck now hopes that having their gender officially recognised will prevent this. Their father Dustin said that the teen was overjoyed by the decision.


The decision now may set a legal precedent for other Canadian provinces, as well as potentially removing the gender marker on other forms of government identification such as driving licences.

In 2017, the federal Canadian government introduced gender-neutral passports, allowing travellers to use an ‘X’ in place of the usual ‘M’ or ‘F.’

Canada also recognises gender-neutral passports from other countries, and has allowed travellers on binary passports to identify themselves as non-binary on border documents since 2016.

In May, the province of Ontario issued its first gender-neutral birth certificate following a similar legal case last year.

Ontario also allows for people to remove the gender marker from their birth certificate entirely.

However, the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission stated that Saskatchewan is the first province to be told by a court to permit the removal of gender on the certificates.