On January 28, 2021, a historic judgment (Center for Gender Advocacy v. Attorney General of Quebec, 2021 QCCS 191) was rendered by the Superior Court of Quebec. This judgment represents a historic victory for the transgender and non-binary community of the Province. In this decision, the Honorable Judge Gregory Moore declared invalid several provisions of the Civil Code of Quebec , because they violated the right to dignity and the right to equality of non-binary persons protected by the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms of the person and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms . The Quebec legislator has until December 31, 2021 to modify the relevant discriminatory provisions.
While there is still work to be done, the decision sets an important precedent for the recognition that everyone has the right to have their identity recognized by our legislative framework. The main points of the decision are as follows:
1. This decision invalidates certain provisions which do not recognize the existence of a non-binary identity with regard to the designation of sex on certain documents or certificates. In the future, people who do not identify as “male” or “female” will now be entitled to a non-binary designation.
2. Provisions that violated the rights to dignity and equality of non-citizens residing in Quebec have been declared invalid, and non-citizen residents will now have the right to change their name on legal documents, without having to necessarily be Canadian citizens.
3. Transgender and non-binary youth aged 14 and over will now be able to apply for a change of their gender designation, without the legal requirement of certification from a medical professional, which was struck down by the court.
4. Transgender and non-binary parents will now have the right to change their sex designation on a child’s birth certificate. Although the invalid provisions previously required that parents be identified as “mother” and “father” on a birth certificate, even where there were two parents of the same sex, parents will now have the right to be identified as ” parent ”.
While waiting for the legislative changes to come, our team at Spunt & Carin are here to help and give you a glimpse of what this landmark decision could mean for you in the future!