Gowling WLG partners with Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity on gender markers pro bono initiative

13 September 2018

Gowling WLG is proud to announce a national partnership with the Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity (CCGSD) that will see the two organizations offering support for trans and non-binary individuals seeking to change the gender markers on their official identification documents.

Led by Ottawa-based Gowling WLG partner Roberto Aburto, the pro bono initiative will involve members of the firm working closely with the CCGSD to notarize the forms and commission the affidavits required to update birth certificates, passports, driver's licenses, and other formal documents. 

"As a longtime ally of the LGBTQ+ community, Gowling WLG is tremendously proud to support trans and non-binary individuals by providing free legal advice to those looking to change their gender markers," said Peter Lukasiewicz, CEO of Gowling WLG Canada and chair of the firm's Diversity & Inclusion Council. "Our partnership with the CCGSD on this progressive initiative is very much in line with our commitment to giving back to the communities in which we live and work."

In addition to providing pro bono notary and commissioning services, a group of CCGSD champions comprised of Gowling WLG partners, associates and law students has created a series of useful guides outlining the gender marker and name change processes in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec. These champions have also compiled a list of the required forms for change of sex designation and change of name in their respective jurisdictions.

For ease of use, the guides and forms are available to the public on the CCGSD website.

"The CCGSD is elated that Gowling WLG is offering these critical services to trans and non-binary people and addressing an essential need in our community," said CCGSD executive director Jeremy Dias. "Through this pro bono initiative, trans and non-binary individuals will be able to take advantage of key changes in legislation in a manner that is both supportive and respectful."

A leader in anti-discrimination work, the CCGSD runs programming to support and transform Canadian and Indigenous communities in a shared vision of a discrimination-free, gender and sexually diverse world, through education, health, and advocacy services.

For more than a century, Gowling WLG has provided pro bono legal services in communities across Canada to those who need them most. The firm also performs legal services at no charge in support of organizations that advocate for the public good in matters of broad public concern. Learn more about Gowling WLG's pro bono services.

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