"What reason would the government have to put [trans people] at greater risk of exclusion, harassment, and violence?"
Montreal LGBTQ+ and gender advocacy groups are demanding that the CAQ make significant changes to a bill that's been widely condemned as transphobic. Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barette, meanwhile, says he's open to making "improvements" to Bill 2.
While Barette said in a Facebook post that the CAQ is "confident" it can "find a solution with LGBTQ groups," several organizations are demanding that the government do a better job of including trans, non-binary and intersex people in the decision-making process.
In the post, Barrette said that "Bill 2 clarifies the distinction between sex and gender."
"Gender identity will now be able to appear on civil status documents and be changed to reflect the identity of a trans person [...] a trans person will therefore be able to continue to have documents that reflect their identity without undergoing surgery. There is no need for surgery in order for civil status documents to be changed to reflect the gender identity of the person concerned."
Barrette furthermore insisted that "sex and gender will not be contrasted in the documents. Birth certificates would show either one or the other."
What do you have to say about Bill 2 and Barrette's comments?
"This is a flat-out lie," the Centre for Gender Advocacy said of Barrette's claims about the bill.
The centre said the new marker would expose one's trans status, leaving it "out in the open by having it be separate from the 'sex' marker, resulting in the same or similar dangers a trans person with no IDs at all would face."
Conseil Québécois LGBT+ Executive Director Ariane Marchand-Labelle told MTL Blog that "the mere presence of the gender designation will expose a person's trans identity" since the bill proposes adding a gender identifier on some documents only by request.
"This will be even more revealing if the gender identity does not correspond to the sex designation, in the case of people who have not had surgery for example."
Marchand-Labelle also took issue with a part of the bill that says a birth certificate would have to indicate if it underwent any change.
The bill would therefore, she said, "[create] a new category for trans people, and we know that trans and non-binary people experience a great deal of discrimination."
"How is this helpful or necessary?" she asked. "What reason would the government have to put [trans people] at greater risk of exclusion, harassment, and violence, which they already suffer disproportionately?"
The Conseil has taken action and penned a letter of opposition to Bill 2 that anyone could send directly to their MNA. The Montreal LGBTQ+ Community Centre and the Coalition des familles LGBT+, both members of the Conseil, say they support its campaign against the bill.
What changes would your organization make to Bill 2?
The Centre for Gender Advocacy wants "all of the discriminatory, transphobic and/or interphobic articles within Bill 2 to be removed from the bill immediately."
"If the government wishes to modify the articles affecting trans people and intersex people, we would like the trans community and the intersex community to be at the front and centre of any laws, any article changes directly affecting them; we want the trans and intersex communities to be consulted and be able to approve any bills which will primarily affect them."
Marchand-Labelle echoed the statement, saying "it is essential for the government to consult those who have the necessary expertise, namely the trans, non-binary, and intersex communities."