Concordia group claims provincial laws discriminate against trans people
Nearly five years after it was launched, the lawsuit filed by Concordia’s Centre for Gender Advocacy (CGA) against the provincial government will be heard in court this January.
At a press conference on Nov. 20, the centre announced that multiple hearings are scheduled between Jan. 7 and Feb. 1, 2019.
The CGA is seeking to overturn a number of articles of the Civil Code of Quebec that it argues violate the rights of trans citizens. These include articles 59 and 71, which prohibit people without citizenship from legally changing their name or gender marker, respectively, and article 62, which compels youth under the age of 18 to obtain permission from their parents before legally changing their name.
“These laws prevent the integration of trans people into society, and they contribute to the marginalization of trans people,” said Dalia Tourki, a trans advocate and public educator with the CGA.
“We’re challenging those articles because they violate values and principles of integrity, safety, freedom [and] right to privacy that are guaranteed and protected under both the Canadian and Quebec charters,” Tourki told The Concordian.
The laws being challenged fall into four broad categories, each of which will be heard on a different day: laws concerning trans youth, trans parents, gender nonbinary people and trans people without citizenship.
In addition to scholars, academics and psychologists, members of the trans community will testify at the hearings, including representatives from the trans-parent, trans-immigrant and gender nonbinary communities.
The CGA first launched its lawsuit against the Quebec government in 2014. Previous iterations of the lawsuit challenged provincial regulations that required trans people to undergo surgery before legally changing their gender marker, and prohibited youth under 18 from legally changing their names and gender markers. However, these laws were modified in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Photo by Ian Down.