Amendments to Vital Statistics Act Introduced

Service Nova Scotia

April 8, 2015 1:14 PM

Amendments to the Vital Statistics Act will further protect transgender Nova Scotians from harassment and discrimination.

Amendments introduced today, April 8, will remove the requirement for Nova Scotians to have sex reassignment surgery to change the sex designation on their birth certificate.

"Carrying documents that do not match your identified gender can create stress and the potential for harassment and violence," said Kate Shewan, executive director at The Youth Project. "This legislation is an important step forward in recognizing gender identity and making it easier for transgender Nova Scotians to obtain documents aligned with their gender."

Amendments include:
-- eliminating the requirement for sex reassignment surgery to change the sex designation on a birth certificate
-- requiring a self-declaration from the applicant stating that they have assumed, identify with, and intend to live in a gender identity that corresponds with the desired sex designation
-- requiring a letter of support from a person with a professional designation as defined in regulation (like a doctor, nurse, social worker or psychologist)
-- requiring minors under 16 to have parental consent. The letter of support must be from a doctor or psychologist that has treated or evaluated the applicant and must include a professional opinion that the minor is able to understand the impact of the decision.

"In the fall, a petition signed by over 600 Nova Scotians who wanted to see a change to the Nova Scotia Vital Statistic Act was tabled in the legislature," said Service Nova Scotia Minister Mark Furey. "That same day, I made a commitment to taking a stand on this issue, and I am delivering on that promise.

"This is the right thing to do to ensure that transgender Nova Scotians are further protected from harassment and discrimination."

An amendment to the Change of Name Act will reduce the age requirement for parental consent to age 15 to align with the Vital Statistics Act.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Amendments to the Vital Statistics Act will further

protect transgender Nova Scotians from harassment and

discrimination.

     Amendments introduced today (April 8th), will remove the

requirement for Nova Scotians to have sex reassignment surgery to

change the sex designation on their birth certificate.

     Service Nova Scotia Minister Mark Furey says a petition

signed by over 600 Nova Scotians who wanted to see a change to

the Nova Scotia Vital Statistic Act was tabled in the legislature

in the fall. That same day, he made a commitment to taking a

stand on this issue.

-30-

Media Contact: Tracy Barron
              902-424-2733
              Cell: 902-223-1465
              Email: tracy.barron@novascotia.ca