The federal Liberals could easily drop any mention of sex or gender from identity documents like passports immediately, notwithstanding concerns civil servants have expressed about the idea privately for more than a year, a senior official with the Canadian Human Rights Commission says.
Marcella Daye, the acting manager of policy at the commission, said having gender-neutral identity documents like passports is the number one issue transgender Canadians have raised in recent consultations with the commission.
Daye said the longer the government waits to move to gender-neutral identity documents, the longer it exposes transgender Canadians and other members of the LGBTQ2 community to potential problems or danger.
Consultations the commission has held with transgender Canadians on this topic have shown concerns about travellers blocked from getting on a flight because they don’t look or match the gender listed on their passport, or becoming the subject to harassment, said Daye, a senior policy adviser to the commission on LGBTQ2 issues.
“Sometimes when you toss out the idea that this is harmful and we need to change this one thing, people go, ‘but there are these other 300 things and we need to change all of them and we have to do a big effort,”‘ Daye said.