Discriminatory legislation against trans and intersex people: Case brought to superior court against the Quebec government

MONTREAL, May 4 2014 – The day after Trans pride day, the Centre for gender advocacy (the Centre),  represented by IRVING MITCHELL KALICHMAN S.E.N.C.R.L./LLP has taken legal action against the Quebec
government. This lawsuit aims to invalidate articles of the law that are discriminatory against trans and  intersex Quebeckers, namely articles 71, 72, 111, 115, and 116 of the Quebec civil code.

Despite the adoption by the National Assembly last November of a law last (Law 35), a trans or intersex  person must still submit to surgical modifications leading to sterilisation in order to be authorised to  change their gender marker. They also cannot be a minor and must be a Canadian citizen. The Centre  considers these requirements to be discriminatory on the basis of the Charter of human rights and youth  rights of Quebec and the Canadian charter of human rights.

Moreover, the practice of requiring a gender to be assigned at birth is a primary cause for discrimination  among trans persons and unnecessary surgical modifications among intersex people. This requirement  defines gender identity and the social roles that a person will have to conform to. The Centre therefore  asks the courts to rule on the legal obligation to assign sex at birth.

“The Quebec government still has the chance to be the first jurisdiction to put an end to judicial  discrimination against trans and intersex people without suffering a major setback in court. We need  much more than the promise of a five-year action plan. Each and every Quebecker should have the right  body integrity, to privacy, and to choose whether or not surgical and/or medical modifications are  necessary for them—without intervention from the State.” declared Gabrielle Bouchard, Peer support  and Trans advocacy Coordinator at the Centre.