A bill to honor New Jersey civil rights icon Babs Siperstein was approved by an Assembly committee on Monday, clearing the way for a vote by the full Assembly during the lame duck session.
The proposal calls for the renaming of New Jersey’s “Transgender Day of Remembrance” on November 20 to “Babs Siperstein Transgender Day of Remembrance,” passed the Assembly Human Services Committee by a 5-0 vote.
Siperstein, a former Democratic National Committeewoman, died on February 4. She was 76.
Serena DiMaso (R-Holmdel) joined four Democrats in support of the legislation. The second Republican on the committee, DiAnne Gove (R-Long Beach) abstained from the vote.
“Babs Siperstein dedicated her life to advocating for equal rights for the LGBTQ community. She fought relentlessly for marriage equality, pushed to end workplace discrimination and worked with political leaders to ensure gender equality was at the forefront of legislative agendas,” said the sponsors of the bill, Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Englewood), Joann Downey (D-Freehold) and Eric Houghtaling (D-Neptune).
An original board member for Garden State Equality, Siperstein played a major role in advocating for marriage equality, transgender inclusive nondiscrimination protections, and most recently the Babs Siperstein Law that allows for the selection of gender-neutral on a New Jersey birth certificate.
“Babs’ work will never be forgotten here in her home state of New Jersey. She is the namesake of the State’s landmark legislation allowing transgender people to amend their birth certificates, and we look forward to seeing her name carried on as part of Transgender Day of Remembrance,” Vainieri Huttle, Downey and Houghtaling said.