New Jersey birth certificates will have the option of a third, non-binary gender starting on 1 February.
Governor Phil Murphy signed this legislation, the Babs Siperstein Bill, into law last July. The bill is named after Babs Siperstein, an Edison, New Jersey resident who became the first transgender person elected to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 2012.
This new law allows parents to choose the non-binary option on birth certificates for their children. It also allows for adults to change the gender marker on their birth or death certificates without proof of reassignment surgery.
Gender vs. Sex
‘Just because your sex assigned at birth is one thing, it does not necessarily mean that it is something that’s going to be consistent with your gender identity throughout your life,’ Ashley Chiappano of Garden State Equality told News12.
Garden State Equality is a statewide advocacy and education network for the LGBTI community.
When speaking to News12, Chiappano pointed out the difference between biological sex and gender.
‘Sex is more like a label. When we’re talking about sex, this is assignment by a doctor,’ she explains.
‘Gender identity goes even further to say that it’s how you feel on the inside and how you express yourself. It’s how you express yourself through your clothing, your behavior, your personal appearance.’
This month, New York City began offering a non-binary option on birth certificates. New York and New Jersey join the states of Oregon, California, and Washington in allowing a non-binary option on birth certificates.