Canada could introduce gender-neutral ID cards.

Canada Could Introduce Gender-Neutral ID Cards

Canada Could Introduce Gender-Neutral ID Cards

The Slatest has moved! You can find new stories here.
The Slatest
Your News Companion
July 4 2016 12:55 PM

Canada Could Introduce Gender-Neutral ID Cards

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates at the annual Pride Festival parade on Sunday in Toronto.

Ian Willms/Getty Images

The Canadian government is exploring the possibility of using gender-neutral options on identity cards, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. Trudeau made the announcement on the same day he made history by becoming the first Canadian prime minister to march in a gay pride parade. "That's part of the great arc of history sweeping toward justice," Trudeau told Canada’s CP24. The prime minister didn’t go into details but said the government was studying how certain jurisdictions had done it in order to figure out the “best way” to go about implementing the change.

A spokeswoman for the prime minister confirmed the government is looking into making the switch. "We are conducting a review of all the circumstances in which the government requires or produces identity documents in order not to exclude people whose gender identity does not match the binary standard. This could include neutrality in several situations," Andrée-Lyne Hallé wrote in an email to CBC News.

Ontario said last week it will introduce gender-neutral driver’s licenses allowing people to select X, instead of M or F, next year. That follows the lead set out by several countries, including Australia and New Zealand, that already allow the use of X to indicate gender.

Trudeau also said that a prime minister marching in Toronto’s pride parade shouldn’t really be seen as anything special. "I've been coming to this for years and it's sort of frustrating that it has to be a big thing," Trudeau said. "It shouldn't be a big thing that the prime minister is walking in the Pride Parade and from now on, it won't."

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.