A non-binary Canadian parent may have done more to extinguish the already fizzling congressional movement to establish a universal health care system in the United States.
While the majority Republican Congress struggles over whether to repeal or improve the Affordable Care Act, fewer than 100 Democratic members of the House of Representatives hope to gain enough strength to implement a government-operated universal health care plan.
But that was before Kori Doty ignited an international firestorm over refusing to list his/her child's sex on the infant's birth certificate.
Doty lives in British Columbia. He/she was born female, but now calls him/her self "non-binary." He/she uses the word "they" when discussing why he/she refused to provide the sex of his/her child to the government.
The baby, named Searyl Atli Doty, was born in November. The child became a pawn in Kori Doty's crusade to allow children to "discover" their gender on their own.
In a recent interview with "The Guardian", Doty said, "I think we're starting to understand that gender identity is not directly attached to genitals," Doty said. "I don't want to put them in a box where they only get to wear pink ruffles or they get to wear blue and trucks. I'm just trying to leave that space open, so that when they say who they are, that they don't have to say, 'your guess was wrong.'"
Having had the opportunity to watch children as they came head first into this world, there wasn't any doubt over their sex. The doctor announced the child's sex to everyone in the deliver room. Each boy had a penis. Each girl had a vagina.
But Doty, complete with a mustache and chin stubble, began his/her fight with the Canadian government shortly after Searyl was born. He/she refused to list Searyl's sex on the child's birth certificate. Doty, along with several other trans-sexual and inter-sexual people, filed a human rights complaint against British Columbia alleging its discrimination to require gender on birth certificates.
The case is pending.
Earlier this week, Doty was interviewed by Piers Morgan on the British television show, Good Morning Britain. Morgan said he believed Searyl should be assigned a gender until the child is old enough to decide the issue.
"All kids will figure out who they are," Doty said.
Not only is Doty trying to change the child's gender requirement, he/she wants to change how society refers to him/her when referring to parentage. Doty calls him/her self, "they." In other words, Doty would like to see remarks, "All kids will figure out who they are" written as they said instead of Doty said.
Doty also wants Searyl called "them" when using a pronoun to describe the child.
"I think all kids should have room to say, 'I like pink, I like trucks, I want to be called this, I want to be called that, I want to play certain games,'"" Doty or they said.
Morgan pushed the point, asking if kids should be allowed to identify as monkeys if want.
"We'll probably have some important conversations about beasts and science and things that are appropriate for a 4-year-old," Doty or they said.
Although the Canadian government refused to issue "them" or Searyl a birth certificate, the child received a provincial health card with a "U" in the sex column.
Doty likes that.
"I'm not imposing a non-binary gender identity on my kid, I'm just holding the space for them to figure out who they are without application of a rigid assumption," Doty or they said.
In a recent article, Miami Herald columnists Leonard Pitts writes that "denying the reality of infant genitalia" is the wrong approach to putting boys and girls on equal playing fields
"Fight the sociology - not the biology," Pitts wrote. "I tend to think Searyl would thank us for that. The English language would, too."
I'm with Pitts on that. I'm not ready to replace "he" or "she" with a "them". Besides not making sense, it butchers the English language.