SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – A bill signed into law by New Jersey’s governor last week means transgender residents can legally change their gender on their birth certificates.

The ‘Birth Certificate Bill’ - now known as the “Babs Siperstein Law’ - was signed by Gov. Phil Murphy on July 2. Under the law, the registrar can now legally amend a certificate based on how one relates. The legislation, which passed the Assembly in May (the vote was 57-11-3) and the Senate in June (by a vote of 30-2), had twice been vetoed by former Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

“This law basically gives transgender people the right to amend their birth certificates [and] reflects that we are an inclusive, open state that welcomes everyone, regardless of their life choices,” said South Plainfield resident and Democratic Senator Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr., a co-sponsor of the bill. “This is a big step.”

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Earlier this year, Gov. Murphy, a Democrat, also signed bills allowing gender identity to be reflected on death certificates and approved the establishment a Transgender Task Force, which will allow Garden Stare government officials and law, policy, and medicinal experts as well as community leaders and advocates to come together to study and address issues that impact transgender people throughout society.

Laws of this nature, said Diegnan, show that, as a state, New Jersey, is making ‘every effort to be inclusive of all people.’

“Although [these laws] obviously only affect a small portion of our population, they show that, regardless of one’s sexual preference, we should treat people with respect and respect their life choices,” said the senator, adding, “We have enough to fight about without arguing about one’s sexuality.”