On February 1, 2019, New Jersey joined Washington, Oregon, and California as the fourth U.S. state to allow its residents to change the gender designation on their birth certificates to reflect a gender-neutral identity. New York City has a law that allows residents to change their birth certificates accordingly as well. The New Jersey law covers transgender individuals who have undergone gender affirming surgery or simply identify as a gender different from what was assigned to them at birth. This includes non-binary individuals who may not identify strictly as male or female. The aim is to allow each individual to make a choice about their own identity, according to New Jersey Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal. The options now available to New Jersey residents are ‘male,’ ‘female,’ and a third option called ‘undesignated’ or ‘non-binary.’
A lawsuit has been filed against an Ohio judge for rejecting the requests of transgender teens for changing their names to match their gender identities. The plaintiffs, who are the mothers of three transgender teens, claim that Judge Joseph Kirby’s rulings denying the name-change requests may violate the adolescents' constitutional rights. All of the teens have full support from their doctors and are going through therapy and medical treatment for their gender dysphoria.