N.J. to become fourth state with gender-neutral birth certificate option

On Feb. 1, the Garden State will join California, Oregon, Washington and NYC in embracing nonbinary identification.
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By Tim Fitzsimons

New Jersey residents and those born in the Garden State will soon have the choice of selecting a gender-neutral option on their birth certificates.

The new law goes into effect Friday, and will include three birth certificate gender options: "female, male, or undesignated/nonbinary," according to the law's text.

The Babs Siperstein Law, as the legislation is called, is named after the lifelong N.J. resident and first transgender person to become a member of the Democratic National Committee, where she served until 2017.

“Having a gender-neutral option will now give thousands of people in the state of New Jersey the power to self-identify,” said Amanda Babine, director of policy and programs at the New York Transgender Advocacy Group. “We find this choice to determine their own identity leads to an increase in well-being for the individual and a push towards creating more inclusive communities.”

New Jersey will become the fourth state to add the gender-neutral option on birth certificates behind Oregon, California and Washington. Earlier this month, New York City enacted such a law. At least three states and Washington, D.C., allow gender-neutral driver's licenses.


Tim Fitzsimons

Tim Fitzsimons reports on LGBTQ news for NBC Out.