Assemblywoman VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE
District 37 (Bergen)
Assemblywoman JOANN DOWNEY
District 11 (Monmouth)
Assemblyman ERIC HOUGHTALING
District 11 (Monmouth)
Renames State’s “Transgender Day of Remembrance” as “Babs Siperstein Transgender Day of Remembrance.”
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning the State’s “Transgender Day of Remembrance” and amending P.L.2017, J.R.23.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 1 of P.L.2017, J.R.23 (C.36:2-319) is amended to read as follows:
1. November 20th of each year is designated as "Babs Siperstein Transgender Day of Remembrance" in the State of New Jersey to honor the memory of those persons whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.
(cf: P.L.2017, J.R.23, s.1)
2. Section 2 of P.L.2017, J.R.23 (C.36:2-320) is amended to read as follows:
2. The Governor is requested to annually issue a proclamation calling upon public officials and citizens of this State to observe "Babs Siperstein Transgender Day of Remembrance" with appropriate activities and programs.
(cf: P.L.2017, J.R.23, s.2)
3. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill would rename the State’s “Transgender Day of Remembrance,” which is celebrated on November 20th of each year, as the “Babs Siperstein Transgender Day of Remembrance.”
Barbra (Babs) Casbar Siperstein was an American transgender activist. She has, for decades, been one of New Jersey’s most prominent and influential advocates for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals. A Jersey City native, Siperstein served in the army and was a successful small business owner. She was also President and board member of the New Jersey Stonewall Democrats and Vice President of Garden State Equality.
Siperstein made history, in 2009, when she became the first openly transgender member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). She later went on to be appointed to the DNC’s Executive Committee, where she served until 2019.
A lifelong advocate, Siperstein tirelessly fought for marriage equality and worked to end workplace discrimination. As one of 24 authors of the 2009 Dallas Principles, she helped to ensure that gender equality was a key aspect of any political agenda. She is also the namesake of landmark legislation allowing the State to issue amended birth certificates to transgender people.
A loving wife, mother, grandmother, partner, and friend, Babs Siperstein died on February 3, 2019 at age 76. Governor Phil Murphy ordered that flags be lowered to half-staff in her honor. Although her death represents the loss of one of the State’s principal voices for LGBTQ rights, Babs is remembered as a trailblazer, and as a role model for the activists who have and will come after her. It is fitting, therefore, for the State’s Transgender Day of Remembrance to be named in honor of this leading LGBTQ advocate, who has been so instrumental in helping to lead the fight for transgender rights, and for the rights of all LGBTQ individuals in this State and nation.