A Canadian baby has been issued a health document without an assigned sex of "male" or "female," in what campaigners are describing as a possible "world first," CNN reported.
Searyl Atli Doty was born "outside the medical system" in the British Columbia and, therefore, didn't undergo a genital inspection after the child was born, a statement by the Gender-Free Coalition said.
The parent, Kori Doty, who self identifies as "non-binary trans," argued against assigning the child a gender at birth, claiming it violated "Searyl's rights as a Canadian citizen to life, liberty and security of the person to freedom of expression, and to equality under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
“I do not gender my child. It is up to Searyl to decide how they identify, when they are old enough to develop their own gender identity. I am not going to foreclose their choices based on an arbitrary assignment of gender at birth based on an inspection of their genitals.”
An image of the child's health card shows a "U" next to the "sex" category. The Gender-Free Coalition said it interprets that as standing for "unspecified or unknown," adding that Searyl is the first child to be registered in such a way.
According to CNN, health cards entitle Canadians to the use of public health care services, but need to presented each time such a service is used. Canada has a universal health-care system paid by taxes, but the individual laws governing the cards are left up to the provinces to regulate.
Doty is one of eight complainants in a case being heard by British Columbia's Human Rights Tribunal. Those who filed the complaints hope to have gender assignment removed from all new birth certificates.
At the onset, Doty was unable to secure a medical number and birth certificate for the child. As a result, the parent applied for judicial review of the decision that denied Searyl a birth certificate.
Canada isn't the only country in North America challenging traditional gender labels on government documents. In June, Oregon became the first state to offer a third-gender driver's license. Since then, Washington, D.C., has also followed suit. On such documents, an "X" will appear next to the gender category.