That is the essence of a recent ruling by the BCHRT, in the case of Oger v Whatcott.
When Morgane Oger, a transwoman, ran for office Bill Whatcott distruted hundreds of flyers claiming she was unfit because of her gender identity. Whatcott's flyers described Oger as a "biological male who has renamed himself...after he embraced a transvestite lifestyle" ; described being transgender as an "impossibility" which exposes people to harm and constitutes a sin.
Oger filed a complaint with the tribunal, alleging that Whatcott's flyers are hate speech within the meaning of the Human Rights Code.
That case is set to be heard in September.
Whatcott made an application to require Oger to disclose her birth certificate and medical records, and to compel her to have an independent medical examination. He claimed that Oger has the burden to prove she is protected by the ground of "gender identity" and that his applications were relevant to that issue.
In a strong decision, the Tribunal held that Oger was not required to produce her records, or have a medical exam. The Tribunal member said:
"...Mr. Whatcott's requests are overly intrusive into Ms Oger's privacy and not at all relevant for the disposition of this complaint. Furthermore, the basis for the requests is questionable insofar as they are premised on Mr. Whatcott contesting that Ms Oger is a transgender woman. That fact is the very foundation of his publications concerning her fitness for office.
This complaint is not about Ms Oger's medical records or the personal circumstances underlying her gender identity. Nor, as I have said, is this Tribunal a forum for Mr. Whatcott to defend the truth of his convictions...Her identity is hers alone, and the Legislature has expressly chosen to recognize it and confer protection on her by the inclusion of "gender identity and expression" as a protected characteristic in the Code."
This case sets a wonderful precedent for any trans folk who do not want to provide evidence of their gender. It says that the person's assertion of their gender identity is enough: no birth certificate required, no medical records are relevant.
Stay tuned for the case itself in the fall.