In a landmark human rights decision, Manitoba has been ordered to begin offering a non-binary option on birth certificates to individuals who request them from the government. The decision came after a complaint was filed by a transgender person. The new decision about Manitoba birth certificates has already received some mixed reviews on Twitter.
The complainant, identified only as T.A., had filed a request for a gender-congruent birth certificate in 2013 but the request was denied. In 2015, T.A. formally filed a complaint with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission.
The decision, which was delivered on November 5, deemed the government's position to be discriminatory. It also ordered the Manitoba government to pay $50,000 to T.A.
"Gender identity is a part of our concept of selfhood," adjudicator Dan Manning wrote in the decision. "The (vital statistics) director's practice to not allow non-binary designations of sex designation and only permit male or female designations was effectively the government refusing to acknowledge T.A.'s agency and personhood."
The province was given 180 days to begin allowing non-binary designations on birth certificates to those who request them. A statement from the government on the decision reads, "The province has received the adjudicator’s decision, and will now carefully review it to determine next steps," according to the Winnipeg Free Press.
Reactions to the decision on Twitter have ranged from supportive to critical, with the majority of responses being negative.
"We don't record the gender of newborns, we record their SEX. We need these statistics to properly create public policy. This ruling is misguided on so many levels," wrote @LizaVespi.
"YES!!! This is a Major Win for the LGBTQ2S Community in Manitoba, and I 💜 it. #TransIsBeautiful," wrote @ThunderingEIk.
Even Wab Kinew, the leader of Manitoba's provincial NDP, weighed in on the decision, calling it "great news."
This decision follows similar rulings made elsewhere in Canada, including the option to mark one's gender as "X" on a passport. Even some private companies like Always are taking steps to make their products more gender-neutral.
Of course, the outrage is also similar to how people seemed to feel about Air Canada's new gender-neutral language rules.
Disclaimer: Cover photos used for illustrative purposes only.