Today, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has vetoed a bill that would have eased access to accurate birth certificates for transgender people. This is Governor Christie’s second veto of this legislation despite overwhelming support in the New Jersey General Assembly. In response, National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) State Policy Counsel, Arli Christian, who has worked closely with local and state advocates on this bill, issued the following statement:
“For the second time, Governor Chris Christie has elected to allow his state’s birth certificate laws to deteriorate despite the overwhelming majority of support from the New Jersey legislature to modernize. His veto on this bill keeps in place outdated and burdensome requirements that make it incredibly difficult for transgender people to get birth certificates that match who they are. Birth Certificates play an enormous role in transgender people’s ability to live their life as the person that they are. And Governor Christie has—for a second time—vetoed legislation denying that for transgender New Jerseyans.” [pullquote]”…Birth Certificates play an enormous role in transgender people’s ability to live their life as the person that they are. And Governor Christie has—for a second time—vetoed legislation denying that for transgender New Jerseyans.”[/pullquote]
On Governor Christie’s first veto of this legislation in January 2014, he cited fears of fraud, deception, and abuse over the removal of the surgery requirement, demonstrating a clear lack of understanding of transgender people, and standards of gender transition. Nine states and the District of Columbia have take action to allow transgender people access to accurate birth certificates.
NCTE will continue advocating with Garden State Equality, Gender Rights Advocacy Association of New Jersey, ACLU of New Jersey, and other activists to ensure this bill becomes law.
[From a News Release]