New Jersey’s Babs Siperstein Law will ensure non-binary New Jerseyans can fly with matching gender identity
NEWARK, NJ - Today, United Airlines—New Jersey’s largest airline provider—announced it was the first U.S. airline to allow customers to select a non-binary gender option when booking flights and travel. United Airlines accounts for roughly two-thirds of all passengers at Newark Liberty International Airport.
“Airports are already stressful enough without having to worry if your boarding pass matches your gender identity, and United’s new policy is an important step forward to ensure all of their customers are treated with dignity and respect,” said Christian Fuscarino, executive director for Garden State Equality. “United is a central piece of Newark’s airport that millions of people in our state rely on every year, and inclusive policies that respect LGBTQ people and non-binary individuals will only serve to make our state more equal, more fair, and more competitive.”
The Babs Siperstein Law, which went into effect on February 1, created a new undesignated gender status in New Jersey for non-binary individuals. Presently, New Jerseyans can update their birth certificates, and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) is currently updating its policies to allow New Jerseyans to update their gender marker on their driver’s licenses as well. A rollout of MVC’s new policy is expected in the coming months.
Last month, the trade group Airlines for America (A4A) announced plans for individual airlines to implement the non-binary gender option before June 1, 2019. United Airlines is a member of A4A along with Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, and Southwest.
While flying United Airlines, customers now have the ability to identify themselves as M (male), F (female), U (undisclosed) or X (unspecified), corresponding with what is indicated on their passports or identification. Customers will also have the option to select the honorific title "Mx." during booking.
At present, the U.S. federal government only has “male” and “female” options on federally issued identity documents, including passports. With an undesignated “X” marker on a New Jersey birth certificate, New Jerseyans would still be able to get a passport but would still need to select “male” or “female” on that form.