If you do not want to be classified as a male or female, you can actually go for a third gender option for your passport – as long as you are a Canadian citizen, that is! In a move that is seen by many as a huge step in supporting gender equality in the country, the Canadian government has officially introduced a third gender category on its passports.
Implemented immediately, passport holders from Canada will now be able to choose ‘X’ as their gender if they do not want to identify as ‘M’ (male) or ‘F’ (female).
Now Canadian passport users have the option to indicate ‘X’ as their gender, if they prefer.
According to the government, people will likewise be able to do the same thing on other documents issued by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) department.
In a report by UNILAD, we learn that the third gender category was recently announced by the government in an official statement, which says that ‘X’ will be used to indicate whenever an individual chooses to have his or her gender unspecified.
A portion of the statement reads:
“As Canadians, we know that protecting and promoting fundamental human rights is an imperative for governments and individuals alike. This includes gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.
“Today’s announcement follows steps to protect Canadians in their right to the gender identity of their choice, and freedom of gender expression.”
The initiative has been made to better reflect gender equality in Canada.
Meanwhile, Ahmed Hussen, Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, likewise explained:
“All Canadians should feel safe to be themselves, live according to their gender identity and express their gender as they choose.
“By introducing an ‘X’ gender designation in our government-issued documents, we are taking an important step towards advancing equality for all Canadians regardless of gender identity or expression.”
Definitely a big win for the LGBT community!
Needless to say, most members of the LGBT community in Canada are welcoming this new development with open arms.
Smiling Pastor Joel Osteen Defends His Church’s Decision Not To Help Evacuees
The famed evangelist cited “safety issues” as one reason why Lakewood Church did not open its doors immediately to displaced residents.
Famous televangelist Joel Osteen defended his Houston-based Lakewood Church after it got a lot of flak for not opening its doors sooner to thousands of Houston evacuees. The megachurch pastor cited “safety issues” as one reason why they were unable to shelter the desperate victims of Hurricane Harvey earlier.
Osteen tweeted on Monday, Aug. 28 that Lakewood Church was “inaccessible” and was not being used as a shelter. His statement received backlash as photos and videos surfaced showing the church was actually mostly unharmed by Harvey.
The church was only opened up to accommodate the displaced residents on Tuesday. The cataclysmic storm made landfall on Friday, Aug. 25, leaving hundreds of thousands of residents displaced.
Megachurch Sparks Outrage After Closing As Thousands Are Displaced By Hurricane Harvey
In a Facebook post, it is claimed that the church, a 16,800-seat indoor arena, was “inaccessible due to severe flooding.”
Southeast Texas has been badly hit by Hurricane Harvey. According to several reports, the storm and its flood have affected about 300,000 people, leaving them without power and around 30,000 displaced to temporary shelters.
As a response to the calamity, many churches, community centers, and schools in Houston have opened their doors to offer shelter to the victims. However, one church – the biggest in the area - remained closed to the public and it eventually sparked outrage from both residents and netizens from different places.
Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church, remained close after the hurricane aftermath.
Canadian Commuters Defended Old Filipino Couple from Racist Ranter
Vancouver’s Sky Train passengers were shocked over the Canadian woman’s behavior after she yelled “Go back to the Philippines” to an elderly Filipino couple, who she thinks were talking loudly inside the train.
Vancouver's Sky Train passengers were shocked over a Canadian woman's behavior after she yelled "Go back to the Philippines" to an elderly Filipino couple, who she thought were talking loudly inside the train.
The unidentified Canadian woman was also surprised when another male passenger defended the old Filipino couple, calling her "racist."
The incident started when the Filipino couple, who were seated near the door of the train, were talking in Tagalog, the Philippines' native language. The Canadian woman apparently felt like they were conversing loudly inside the train wagon.
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