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Gender neutral option added to birth certificates in New Jersey

Ra'eesah Manack
Jan 31, 2019
04:04 A.M.
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New Jersey becomes the fourth state to introduce gender neutral as an option on birth certificates in addition to the traditional male and female options.

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From the first of February, parents in New Jersey will be given a third option for gender on birth certificates. A gender-neutral nonbinary option will be added alongside male and female.

The option aims to make it easier for nonbinary and transgender people to change their birth certificates to suit their gender identity preferences later in life. It also aims to allow parents to give their children more options about their identity.

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“You often use a birth certificate to enroll in school. Until you have a license that is your ID,” Aaron Potenza, policy director of Garden State Equality revealed. “For people under 16, they often have to show their birth certificate, and they are coming up against issues.”

New Jersey hopes the new law will supplement the laws that require schools to treat students by their preferred gender. By allowing students to change their birth certificate they hope it will reduce the number of students who experience discrimination, bullying, and harassment because of their preferred gender identities.

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People who are Nonbinary do not identify as male or female. An extra option will help protect them from some of the same issues.

The new law is called Babs Siperstein Law. It aims to make it easier for people to change their gender on their birth certificates and help protect young trans and nonbinary people from discrimination.

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“When the birth certificate shows what the gender at birth is, not every school is going to treat them fairly,” Potenza said.

The new law also makes it easier for people of any age to change their birth certificates to the correct gender. it eliminated the need to show proof of gender affirmation surgery or providing a letter from a therapist.

Oregon, California, and Washington have similar legislation in place surrounding birth certificates. New York City offers a gender-neutral option as well.

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