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The Push to Erase Sex in Law
I guess vital statistics aren’t so vital after all
Editor’s note: the LGB Alliance published a letter of complaint today, addressed to the president of the UN Human Rights Council, charging that Victor Madrigal-Borloz “urges countries to introduce gender self-ID and champions the activist manifesto known as the Yogyakarta Principles instead of doing his job.” Eva Kurilova reminds us what is at stake.
“Netherlands Sees No Role for Gender Marker on ID Documents” declared a Human Rights Watch headline in July 2020.
You see, boys and girls, in this Brave New World, there are no boys and girls. Or, we should at least pretend that there aren’t.
There is no possible reason to ever note the difference between the male and female sex. In fact, we ought never to do it. For the sake of human rights.
Human Rights Watch claims that there is no legal justification for gender markers good enough to outweigh the potential harms to the small minority of people who identify as “transgender” or “non-binary.”
“International legal thinking is evolving,” apparently.
Evolving towards a dead branch of the family tree, maybe.
The first significant call to remove sex markers from identity documents came from non other than the Yogyakarta Principles, the foundational documents for gender self-identification around the world.
The original principles were released in 2007 and updated with 10 more principles in 2017. It is here, in the Yogyakarta Principles plus 10, that we begin to see the push towards erasing sex in law entirely.
In Principle 31, states are called to:
Ensure that official identity documents only include personal information that is relevant, reasonable and necessary as required by the law for a legitimate purpose, and thereby end the registration of the sex and gender of the person in identity documents such as birth certificates, identification cards, passports and driver licences, and as part of their legal personality;
One of the signatories of the Yogyakarta Principles plus 10, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, also happens to be the UN Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity.
In 2018, Madrigal-Borloz submitted a report titled “Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity” to the United Nations General Assembly, in which he argued:
Legal systems must, on an ongoing basis, carefully review the reasoning behind the gathering and exhibition of certain data, and the rules governing data management, which must include separate considerations for the need to gather and the need to exhibit. In this connection, the mandate holder has significant doubts as to the real need for the pervasive exhibition of gender markers in official and non-official documentation, which appears to be fulfilling the vestiges of needs that have long been superseded or adhering to a rationale that should have never been applied in the first place. The simple principle remains that States must refrain from gathering and exhibiting data without a legitimate, proportionate and necessary purpose.
If you’re thinking to yourself: only someone who doesn’t care about women’s rights would argue for removing sex markers from identity documents, you’d be right!
Madrigal-Borloz came to widespread attention late last year for supporting the disastrous Gender Recognition Reform Bill in Scotland.
That would be because men are allowed to lie on their identity documents and the administrative and judicial system considers them to be “female” when they abuse women in female spaces, Victor.
The ability to falsify identity documents is fueling the harm caused by gender ideology, and the removal of such information altogether would go even beyond this.
I’m surprised—though I guess I shouldn’t be at this point—that none of the organizations and individuals arguing for the removal of sex markers ever seem to bring up the issue of vital statistics.
"Vital statistics" refers to quantitative data on human characteristics that are considered essential for understanding and monitoring public health. When it comes to sex, vital statistics are particularly important for several reasons.
For example, many health conditions affect men and women differently. Tracking sex-specific rates and trends is important for understanding the burden of disease and developing targeted prevention and treatment strategies.
Vital statistics related to reproductive health, such as fertility rates, rates of miscarriage and stillbirth, and rates of complications during pregnancy and childbirth, are also sex-specific. The data can be used to monitor trends in reproductive health and develop interventions to improve outcomes for mothers and babies.
Sex differences in vital statistics can be influenced by socioeconomic factors such as income and education as well. Tracking these differences can help identify disparities in access to healthcare and other resources, enabling governments to develop policies to address these disparities.
Sex is a fundamental variable in vital statistics that helps us understand patterns of health and disease, as well as develop targeted interventions to improve health outcomes for both men and women.
And yet, it’s full steam ahead with the ridiculous idea that sex isn’t important for any reason whatsoever.
Canada, as always, was quick on the uptake.
“The gender field on Canadian ID, by default, refers to gender identity, not physical characteristics or biological sex,” writes Genna Buck, and she’s not wrong.
The ease with which Canada allows people to change their gender markers does essentially make them a reflection of meaningless “gender identity,” but the solution is to stop doing that, not to remove the markers altogether.
More recently, in June 2021, the American Medical Association (AMA) also called to remove sex designation from public birth certificates.
According to board chair Sandra Adamson Fryhofer:
Designating sex on birth certificates as male or female, and making that information available on the public portion, perpetuates a view that sex designation is permanent and fails to recognize the medical spectrum of gender identity. This type of categorization system also risks stifling an individual’s self-expression and self-identification and contributes to marginalization and minoritization.
I don’t consider it a solace that the AMA is only calling for the removal of sex from the public birth certificate. This is just a stepping stone to removing it entirely. Fryhofer’s own words show that she doesn’t believe sex is a permanent designation. And don’t forget that the Yogyakarta Principles call for the end of sex registration altogether, while Madrigal-Borloz is likewise suspicious of the need to gather such information at all.
The proper collection of sex-specific data is crucial for ensuring that the needs of both men and women are accurately assessed in order to pursue effective policy when it comes to health and socioeconomics. This is why the common argument that we are merely removing irrelevant data as we have done with markers denoting religion, marital status, and race falls flat.
Make no mistake, removing sex from identity documents serves no other purpose than to play into the dangerous fantasy of a small group of people driven solely by ideology. These are people who think identity can be medically removed and surgically installed. Sex distinctions are real, not a matter of preference. When we stop recognizing them, women lose first, but we’ll all lose in the end.
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