Christie Vetoes Birth Certificate Bill

Law would have eased amendment process for transgender New Jerseyans

Embattled New Jersey governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill, passed by the legislature last year, that would have eased restrictions for transgender residents who want to amend their birth certificates with their appropriate gender.

Current law requires transgender people who have undergone gender reassignment surgery to receive new birth certificates with the change in sex. The proposed law, nixed yesterday, would have allowed those who have received “clinically appropriate treatment for the purpose of gender transition, based on contemporary medical standards, or that the person has an intersex condition” to change their birth certificates.

The bill reflects the greater array of medical treatments available to transgender patients, who can opt for hormone therapy or other procedures instead of gender reassignment surgery, which is often prohibitively expensive.

Christie, a Republican, signed a bill last year banning “ex-gay” therapy for minors. But he declined to sign the birth certificate legislation, claiming that it would encourage “fraud, deception and abuse, and should therefore be closely scrutinized and sparingly approved,” according to the Star-Ledger.

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, disagreed. “Governor Christie is letting down transgender New Jerseyans and showing that their well-being is of no concern to him. We call on the legislature to again pass this legislation and shine a spotlight on how harmful this veto is to the citizens of his state.”

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