Trudeau says Canada exploring gender-neutral identity cards

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (middle, waving flag) made history by becoming the nation's first PM to march in the the annual Pride Festival parade on Sunday in Toronto.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (middle, waving flag) made history by becoming the nation's first PM to march in the the annual Pride Festival parade on Sunday in Toronto.PHOTO: AFP

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada is exploring the use of gender-neutral options on identity cards, Mr Justin Trudeau told a television station on Sunday (July 3) as he became the first Canadian prime minister to march in a gay pride parade.

Mr Trudeau, who participated in the downtown Toronto parade along with other politicians, did not give details, saying only the government was exploring the "best way" and studying other jurisdictions. "That's part of the great arc of history sweeping towards justice," he told CP24.

Last week, the Canadian province of Ontario said it would allow the use of a third gender indicator, X, for driver's licences, which are commonly used in North America to provide identification. Countries including Australia, New Zealand and Nepal already allow the use of the X gender indicator.

Mr Trudeau also said last month's relaxation of Canadian blood-donation restrictions on men who have sex with other men was "not good enough", saying the government was going to work towards easing it further.

According to Canadian Blood Services, men who have sex with other men can now donate after one year of abstinence, down from five years previously.

Mr Trudeau said Toronto's annual parade was made more poignant this year by the shooting rampage that killed 49 people last month at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. "We have to remember the importance of safe spaces and safe communities, like the Pulse was, is something to uphold," he said.