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Update on Cy and Ruby’s Act

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In March 2016, we reported on the status of Cy and Ruby’s Act (also known as Bill 137), a private member’s bill which would overhaul Ontario’s outdated and discriminatory parentage legislation. Cy and Ruby’s Act passed its second reading with on December 10, 2015.

On May 31, 2016, Premier Kathleen Wynne acknowledged the need to amend Ontario’s parentage definition of  and vowed to “ensure that parents are clearly recognized in Ontario, whether they be gay or straight, and whether their children are conceived with or without assistance.”

To the disappointment of the drafters and proponents of Cy and Ruby’s Act, Premier Wynne indicated that her government would be tabling its own bill this coming fall, rather than implementing Cy and Ruby’s Act right away. Although Premier Wynne stated her commitment to tabling the legislation by the end of the year, Amy Noseworthy and Alice MacLachlan, who are among the Applicants in Grand v. Ontario, a Charter challenge initiated by 9 LGBTQ families seeking legal recognition for LGBTQ parents, point out that Premier Wynne provided “no concrete timeline for when this legislation might pass, or how exactly it will differ from Cy and Ruby’s Act.” MacLachlan, Noseworthy, and others, have expressed further concern that the forthcoming legislation will not adequately address the rights of trans parents and multi-parent families.

In the interim, as the Charter challenge and legislative process unfold, LGBTQ parents and their children continue to face unnecessary discrimination, insecurity and uncertainty.

About the Author

Sarah was called to the bar in 2015, after completing her articles at an established family law firm in downtown Toronto. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, a Master of Fine Arts from the State University of New York at New Paltz, and a Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School.

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