Starting tomorrow, a New Jersey law, named after New Jersey resident Babs Siperstein who was the first transgender woman to join the Democratic National Committee, goes into effect, providing a gender neutral option on birth certificates.
Previously, New Jersey law only allowed a person to change the gender on their birth certificate if they had already received gender reassignment surgery. This law will allow people to change the gender on their birth certificate without having to receive the expensive and often inaccessible reassignment surgery. Governor Phil Murphy stated that this bill will allow “transgender individuals to control the disclosure of their transgender status.”
New Jersey is the fourth state to allow a gender neutral option on birth certificates, following Oregon, California, and Washington. Three more states allow for gender neutral options on drivers licenses.
This comes after a wave of attacks on transgender individuals from the Trump administration, including the Supreme Court decision to allow President Trump’s ban on transgender individuals in the military and Trump’s attempts to undercut Title IX protections for transgender students.
Media Resources: NBC News 1/30/19; U.S. News 1/30/19; Feminist Newswire 1/28/19; Feminist Newswire 1/22/19