How Do You Identify?
Most people think that the “gender” checkbox only has two choices-male and female.
However, some people are born in the wrong body, and some people don’t conform to the traditional “male-female” choices.
New Jersey recently passed a law, A-1718, allowing persons to change their New Jersey Birth Certificate to reflect their true gender identity, or to choose an “undesignated/non-binary” category, simply by filing out a form, under oath, indicating their correct gender, and filing it with the State Registrar of Vital Statistics. The amended Birth Certificate will not reflect that it was changed, and the original birth certificate will be placed under seal. For all intents and purposes, the amended birth certificate will be identical to the original, except the gender will be different. No one will ever know it was changed.
Prior to this law, a person had to obtain medical records showing proof of gender reassignment surgery in order to change their birth certificate. Now, all that is required is the filing of a form. If a person lives in New Jersey, but was born someplace else that still requires medical proof to change their birth certificate, they can obtain a court order declaring their gender upon submission of a similar form.
New Jersey also passed a companion law, A-1726, allowing a person in charge of funeral arrangements to make a similar selection on a death certificate, so that a death certificate can conform to a person’s true gender identity.
New Jersey continues to be in the forefront in dealing with these types of issues. While most of us continue to identify with the physical gender we were born with, these laws will allow those citizens who struggle with their gender identity necessary legal procedures and protections that will much more easily allow them to “rebrand” all of their various official documents with their preferred gender to properly reflect their identity. We thought we should pass this information along in case you, or someone you know, is dealing with this issue.
Written by Larry Kroll, Attorney At Law, July 2018