Gender neutral birth certificates to be available in NJ come February

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EDISON -

New Jersey birth certificates will now include a third, non-binary label come Feb. 1, under a new law that expands transgender rights in the Garden State.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed the Babs Siperstein Bill into law last July.

The new legislation gives parents the option of choosing a gender-neutral or non-binary identity on their child's birth certificate. It also allows adults to change the gender marker on their birth and death certificates, without proof of reassignment surgery.

"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,” says Ashley Chiappano with the group Garden State Equality.

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Chiappano says that there is a difference between sex and gender.

“Sex is more like a label. When we’re talking about sex, this is assignment by a doctor,” she says. “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."

The new law is named after Edison resident Babs Siperstein, the first elected transgender member of the Democratic National Committee in 2012.

New Jersey joins Oregon, California and Washington, which have all approved similar legislation. New York City also just changed birth certificates to be gender neutral.

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