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Susan Ursel Wins Ground Breaking Case at the Human Rights Tribunal

Apr 11, 2012

On April 11th, 2012 the decision of XY v. Ontario (Government and Consumer Services)2012 HRTO 726 (CanLII) was released by the Human Rights Tribunal which found that “making ‘transsexual surgery’ a prerequisite for obtaining a change in sex designation is discriminatory because it perpetuates the disadvantage, prejudice and stereotyping experienced by them,”

The hearing stretched over a 10 day period where Ursel (with the assistance of Samantha Scott and Jennifer Micallef) argued that section 36 of the Vital Statistics Act discriminated against transgendered persons. The tribunal agreed and held that the government has 180 days to “revise the criteria for changing sex designation on a birth registration, . . . so as to remove the discriminatory effect of the current system on transgendered persons”.

Also of significance was the Tribunal’s recognition of the stereotypes historically used against the trans community. Vice- Chair Sheri Price found that the surgery requirement is “substantively discriminatory because it perpetuates stereotypes about transgendered persons and their need to have surgery in order to live in accordance with their gender identity”.

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Ursel Phillips Fellows Hopkinson LLP 555 RICHMOND ST. W., SUITE 1200, TORONTO, ON M5V 3B1
TEL 416.968.3333 FAX 416.968.0325