Canadians who consider themselves an “unspecified” sex may obtain passports that reflect their preference before the end of the month.
Passports designated ‘X’ will be available for all Canadians beginning Aug. 31 due to a decision by its immigration department announced Thursday. Officials touted the move as a victory for the LGBT community.
Ahmed Hussen, the minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship said the move came as a result of Bill C-16, legislation which amended the Canadian Human Rights Act by prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression.
“By introducing an ‘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,” Mr. Hussen said. “Our government is committed to better reflecting the gender identity and gender diversity of Canadians.”
The official added that passport policies were just the start of a concerted effort to develop programs and services to “collect, use and display sex and gender information so Canadians can have their gender more accurately reflected in government documents while also protecting their privacy.”
Thursday’s ruling comes less than 10 months since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed a special adviser to oversee government efforts to promote LGBT issues