10/24/2014 01:31 EDT | Updated 12/24/2014 05:59 EST

Nova Scotia pondering changes to sex designation rules for transgender people

HALIFAX - Transgender people in Nova Scotia may be able to change their sex designation on government documents such as birth certificates without conditions.

Service Nova Scotia Minister Mark Furey says the government plans legislative changes to the Vital Statistics Act in the spring to eliminate a provision requiring proof of sex assignment surgery.

Furey says the move would help address fears by some transgender people of discrimination when they present their government-issued identification in public.

He says the province is looking at what other provinces are doing before it decides how to proceed.

Jessica Durling, who helped gather signatures for a petition to change the act, says Furey's promise shows the government is ready to stand by the transgender community.