Canadian government adds LGBT–inclusive gender option to identity documents

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      The Canadian government has implemented a new option on identity documents that will recognize that gender is non-binary.

      The Government of Canada announced on June 4 that Canadian citizens and residents who identify as neither female nor male now have the opportunity to select X on their passports, travel documents, citizenship certificates, or permanent resident cards.

      The X indicates a gender other than female or male.

      Those seeking to replace their current documents with the gender indicator X will be able to do so free of charge until June 4, 2020.

      Back in November 2016, the Clerk of the Privy Council asked the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and the Department of Justice Canada to lead efforts in modernizing how the federal government handles sex and gender information. A report was subsequently presented in September 2018 with a series of recommendations.

      Meanwhile in August 2017, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen announced that the government would begin working towards creating a third option in the sex field of Canadian identity documents while interim measures were introduced for those seeking an X option.

      In November 2018, the B.C. government announced that it would offer a third gender option on government-issued identification. 

      Full details about choosing or updating the gender identifier on identity documents are available at the Government of Canada website.

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