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Nova Scotia to offer ‘X’ as gender option on birth certificates

Nova Scotia flag
Nova Scotia flag - File image

People born in Nova Scotia will soon have the option of having an X placed in the gender identity space on their birth certificate.

On September 19, amendments to the Vital Statistics Act were announced that would allow people to have the M of F replaced with an X
Service Nova Scotia Minister Geoff MacLellan said this will enable people who don’t identify exclusively as male or female to more accurately reflect their gender identity.
The fee to change the sex indicator on a birth certificate will also be waived.
A child’s sex will still be registered as M or F at the time of birth
"The proposed changes take many important steps toward meeting the needs of Nova Scotians who do not wish to be identified by sex,” said Shae Morse, a non-binary teacher and community advocate. “Providing Nova Scotians with additional options to identify themselves or their children removes a significant barrier facing the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. While there is work left to do to remove barriers for our community, passage of this legislation will truly be worth celebrating."
X is already included as a choice on certificates in Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Alberta, Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Saskatchewan and Ontario have the option to not display the sex field on the birth certificate. The federal government uses X on passports.

Additional amendments include:
-- removing the requirement for anyone 16 years of age and older to get a statement from a professional to change the sex indicator on their birth certificate
-- providing Nova Scotia residents born outside the province with a means of getting documentation that reflects their gender identity
-- allowing parents the same rights to register the birth of their child with any surname of their choice.

The changes are expected to come into effect in January 2019.

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