Canada’s national anthem is now gender neutral and a new federal E-petition calling for the use of gender neutral pronouns in all official government policy documents is getting support on the west coast.
“This is something activists have been calling for for a long time.”
Vancouver Lawyer Adrienne Smith says it’s about time gendered pronouns like “he” and “she” were dropped from official documents because they leave thousands of Canadians officially invisible.
“Right now there are only two options available for lots of people, and that means non-binary people, people in the middle of a transition, who might not identify with the sex that they were assigned don’t recognize themselves in government records.”
Now a new a new e-petition to parliament is calling for change so future federal policy documents instead use the gender neutral pronouns “they / them.”
Smith says they’d like to see that move expanded to include all documents, including ID.
The petition, launched last month by a Moncton resident, needs about 330 more signatures to be presented in parliament.
Smith says its a good first step.
“Particularly those produced by produced by government from which the private sector takes its lead are going to make life more safe and a lot more comfortable for intersex people, for trans folk, and for gender variant and non conforming people”
The petition launched by Victoria Dempster of Moncton, calls gender fluid language a human rights issue and wants pronouns “He / She” to be swapped for “They / Them.”
It’s attracted just over 170 of the 500 signatures needed to be brought to parliament.
The House of Commons created e-petitions in December, accessible through a new web portal.
They were enabled by a successful backbench private member’s bill from NDP MP Kennedy Stewart last spring.
E-petitions have 120 days to gather a minimum of 500 signatures to be presented in Parliament.