Canada to allow gender-neutral passports
Ottawa, Aug 25 (IANS) Canadians who do not identify as male or female will from August 31 be able to mark “X” on their passports, instead of “M” or “F”, the government has announced.
In a statement on Thursday, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said the Canadian government was working to implement an unspecified gender designation for Canadian passports and other documents issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
“Until documents with an ‘x’ option can be printed, the government will allow people to add an observation to their passports, indicating it is unspecified”, the National Post reported.
The initiative stems from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise to better reflect the gender diversity of Canadians, Hussen said.
“By introducing the ‘x’ gender designation in our government-issued documents, we are taking an important step towards advancing equality for all Canadians regardless of gender identity or expression,” the Minister said.
He said his department will be the first to introduce the interim measure, part of a government-wide initiative to make all government-issued documents gender neutral.
Earlier this summer, Parliament passed a bill which amended the Canadian Human Rights Act to add gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination.
Last year, the Canadian government began allowing would-be visitors to Canada to designate their gender as “other” on their electronic travel authorisation forms.