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Quebec to allow gender-neutral markers on IDs

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The Quebec government says it will now allow people who are non-binary or who do not identify as female or male to mark their sex as "X" on their official documents.

The decision means people will now be able to have their gender more accurately defined on their driver's licences and health insurance cards.

"It's been almost 10 years of work," said Conseil québécois LGBT Director General James Galantino. "We, finally, can breathe. So, it's a big relief, but I'll be excited and very happy once I see the first 'X' gender marker printed on someone's ID, which we're not there yet."

The Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) says it is already working to make the necessary changes to its system.

"Customers who made the request will soon be contacted to inform them of the possibility of having the 'X' endorsement on their driver's licence," confirmed Gino Desrosiers, a media relations coordinator with the SAAQ.

The Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) adds it welcomes the decision by the ministry.

"We will be contacting those who have already applied for an X-marker card in the next few days to advise them of the next steps in their application," RAMQ spokesperson Caroline Dupont said.

The change comes three months after the government said it was not considering the option.

Last December, the Family Ministry had said it wanted to wait for the final report from an advisory committee tasked with exploring gender identity issues before deciding on gender-neutral markers.

However, the ministry says it received an early answer from committee chairperson Diane Lavallée about this particular issue.

"Following the findings of the committee, the government decided to go ahead with the X marker for the health insurance card and driver's licence," said Catherine Pelletier, a spokesperson for Family Minister Suzanne Roy.

The committee, which received backlash from trans rights groups pointing out that none of the people appointed are openly transgender, non-binary or specialize in issues related to gender identity, has been tasked with drawing up a portrait of current policies and studying what is being done elsewhere.

It is also being asked to identify issues the government may have to address in the future.

The committee's report is due in the winter of 2025.

The gender-neutral marker "X" was already previously allowed on civil status certificates, such as birth certificates.

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