NJ Governor Chris Christie Vetoes Transgender Rights Bill

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today vetoed a bill that would have allowed trans people to change the name on their birth certificate without undergoing gender reassignment surgery, Think Progress reports.

C_christieWrote Christie in his veto statement:

A birth certificate is an important legal document. In many instances, the production of a birth certificate is a prerequisite to obtaining other critical identification documents that factor into decisions concerning employment, financial services, education, and travel. Birth certificates are often required to complete myriad security-related tasks. Accordingly, proposed measures that revise the standards for the issuance of amended birth certificates may result in significant legal uncertainties and create opportunities for fraud, deception, and abuse, and should therefore be closely scrutinized and sparingly approved.

Unlike many other states, New Jersey already has an administrative process in place to streamline applications to amend birth certificates for gender purposes without court order. Under the proposal before me, however, the sponsors seek to alter the amended birth certificate application process without maintaining appropriate safeguards. Consequently, further consideration is necessary to determine whether to make such significant changes to State law concerning the issuance of vital records.

Garden State Equality's Executive Director Troy Stephenson released a statement denouncing the veto, calling it a "vindictive move" by Christie:

"Governor Christies veto of this legislation was a vindictive move to punish the LGBT community after a year of tremendous progress. This was a simple bureaucratic change, which would have offered tremendous support to the transgender community, and have zero effect on anyone else. The governor’s security argument is disingenuous at best, as there is already a process for one to change their gender marker; this legislation would simply end an unnecessary surgical requirement. This malicious use of the veto pen is shameful and beneath the office of governor.”

Comments

  1. Geoff says

    Just when he needs to do something inspired and good…or at least appear to – he fails (again). Someone said “Dig UP, you idiot, dig UP!!!” They were thinking of someone like him He is an exemplary FAIL. Done (on both sides). Chris “who?”

  2. niles says

    This is a common sense veto by Christie. There needs to be in place certain regulation, such as a physicians recommendation, etc. before anyone can just “demand” a different birth certificate willy nilly.

  3. Knock says

    I’d like to change my identifying information to say I have blue-grey eyes, olive complexion, and a height of 6’5. (Then I’ll sue for discrimination if anyone hassles me for not matching my ID.)

  4. Mike says

    So this law would allow a biological male to declare himself a “transwoman” and then alter his birth certificate to say “female” even though he still has a wang and still looks, act and presents like a man? This is insane. Good on Christie for vetoing this and shame on us LGBs for getting suckered into this transgender insanity.

  5. johnny says

    As much as I hate to, I tend to agree with the big slob in Jersey.

    If someone is serious about changing genders, then they need to change genders. They can’t have it both ways, which changing their birth gender designation before surgery is allowing them to do.

    I’m sorry if this seems insulting, but there has to be some kind of standard in place to be recognized mentally and physically as a new gender. It’s a big deal, so they need to treat it like one and stop playing on both sides.

    Otherwise, simply stay a transvestite and keep the male gender. Or dress bull and keep the female gender.

  6. Teeo says

    The Garden State Equality guy says “Governor Christie’s veto of this legislation was a vindictive move to punish the LGBT community after a year of tremendous progress.”

    mmmm, yeah. somehow I don’t feel punished. Why is that? oh yeah, maybe because this sh*t has nothing to do with gay people. why the f is Garden State Equality spending its time on this?

  7. TenaflyBoi says

    It seems to me that this law would have perpetrated fraud. Even if you accept that the male-to-female transsexuals are really, truly females today and even if you accept that that the female-to-males are really and truly males today, that does not mean that it was true when they were born. Most of them don’t identify as the opposite sex until well into adulthood.

    So for example, let’s take a “transwoman” who is 40 years old in 2014. From birth until age 20 (1974-1994) she identified as a male. She may have gone to a boys-only school, and signed hundreds of documents, everything from college applications to bank account applications to draft registration cards, in which she affirmed that she was a male. Now if she changes her mind in 2004 and wants to be called female from that point forward, that is one thing. But to alter the birth certificate to create the fiction that she was born female in 1974 is a fraud on the public and could create chaos for all the parties who relied upon her earlier representations of maleness. I think Christie did the right thing by vetoing.

  8. Just_a_guy says

    Yawn at y’all’s antitrans comments. Grow a wang, boys. Let trans women be just that. Why ya gotta insist they have xyq medical voodoo done on them before you let them identify the way they identify. Gender is arbitrary ok.

    Calling this a fraud risk is even more disengenuous than republican governors claiming election fraud risk driving their voting id rigors; both risks are undocumented and simply made up.

    The drive to push transwomen thru extra physical torture is the sort of thing that’s done in Iran, with the forced operations and all. It is shameful that Christy approves of it here.

  9. Knock says

    Not bending over backwards to give transsexuals the sun and moon just for asking isn’t “antitrans”. Laws need to be fair to everyone and they ought to solve more problems than they create.

  10. TheresNoTInGay says

    So under this law what would happen to the genderqueers? These are the ones who say that their gender identity is fluid and is constantly changing or is always both male and female. Do they get to put both sexes on their certificate or do they just order NJ to create a new one every day as they switch back and forth?

    F^cking crazy the whole lot of them. They should all be institutionalized.

  11. TenaflyBoi says

    JustAGuy,

    If gender is arbitrary, then it doesn’t make any difference what is on their birth certificate, so there is no reason to spend time and energy passing new laws. Thanks for supporting Gov. Christie!

    BTW, if this law ever was enacted, it would sanction fraud. It is not compared to the bogus “voter fraud” that the Repubs talk about. In this case, the fraud would be in the birth document itself. They are demanding a retroactive alteration of history, changing a person’s gender even if he or she didn’t have that gender identity at birth or for years after birth.

    The voter fraud analogy would be if someone had for many years never bothered to vote or had always voted Republican and then at some point he decide that he wants to be a Democrat. So he not only changes his voter registration going forward, he also demands that the state alter his voting records to show that he voted in every election and was always a registered Democrat. If that ever happened, it would be fraud. But no one would be crazy enough to allow it.

  12. Bill says

    Heard a rumor that a certain morbidly obese governor of a state on the east coast of the U.S. has a bridge for sale at bargain prices, due to it becoming too hot to handle politically.

    I guess he needs a controversy that would serve as a distraction from the bridge fiasco, for those into conspiracy theories.

  13. Kelly says

    Just_a_guy | I am certainly willing to allow a transwoman to be a transwoman. However, before the surgery they are a pre-op.

    Without the gender reassignment they are still biologically male. Actually even after they are biologically male. I work in a hospital laboratory. Do you know that there are different values for lab tests based on gender? We actually had a post-op trans person come in. Their lab results were critical for the gender they were registered under. We found out they were a trans person and their results were normal for their birth gender.

    Also, should the Id be found next to a naked body….then how would the coroner identify that the male body born “Shawn” belonged to the ID of “Sarah”. I know several pre-op transwomen that lived that way for 5 or more years. Then one day changed their mind and went back to being a boy.

    It all stems down to the fact that we need to come up with 2 more genders. MTF and FTM. The birth certificate could be changed after reassignment.

  14. emjayay says

    I agree with fatty, because of all the reasons everyone else wrote. We don’t wear our ID on our forehead. You can go around as whatever M or F or anywhere in between you want. But when it comes to identifying your body, or in the emergency room, or no doubt for many practical reasons, you are what your body is and your ID should match.

  15. Mike says

    Simon, Towleroad describes itself as a website “with homosexual tendencies.” All bisexuals have homosexual tendencies. There is absolutely no conflict b/t LGs and Bs and B news and items of interest are relevant and welcome. By contrast, Ts are not defined by homosexual tendencies or any particular sexual tendencies. T is a gender identity. It is an entirely different thing, and forcing it together with LGB is a sham. That is why it is so completely bizarre to read stories like this one on a blog like this.

    Kelly, those are really excellent points. Altering birth certificates might stroke the egos of certain transsexuals who desperately want to pretend that they are and always have been real women, but they put their own health in danger. Of course, I don’t think for one minute that trans activists really care about that. They would prefer to have the altered certificates even if it means more hospital mishaps and deaths for transsexuals. They would probably then demand that New Jersey give them the right to sue the hospitals.

  16. anon says

    It’s very rare that gender appears on ID cards unless you are a student, in the military or on a drivers license. I remember when magazine subscription used to ask if you were male or female. I don’t see an issue w/ any kind of financial fraud (credit cards and the like), nor with housing, travel, vacations or employment. The main issue would seem to be with student athletes and other roles that require gender segregation.

  17. Randy says

    Gender is not an appropriate thing to put on a birth certificate anyway.

    1. It’s not the government’s business what gender someone is. It’s not actually necessary for any legitimate purpose.
    2. Nobody knows someone’s eventual gender at the time of their birth. Sometimes even their apparent gender at birth is uncertain. Amending a birth record years or decades after the fact is inappropriate, but is encouraged by the idiotic system in place now.
    3. Gender goes beyond the simply male-female binary, and even the new “other” category some governments use is not really a good way to refer to people.
    4. Putting gender on a government document only makes it easier to enable discrimination on that basis.

  18. Knock says

    Randy:

    1. Why stop at gender? Why record weight, or whether the newborn was alive or stillborn? Why does the government even need to know if someone was born?

    2. For 99.9999999% of the population the sex is known at birth and will not change. With the exception of intersex people assigned a gender at birth, everyone is born with a specific, known, sex. Rewriting history does not add legitimacy to a person’s decision later in life. If a person’s sex and birth differs from their gender identity later in life, so be it.

    3. Gender might be this wonderful blurry mishmash of rainbow colours for a minority, but sex isn’t (again, with the exception of intersexed people). Either you’re born with a penis or a vagina.

    4. Putting your address, height, last name, hair colour, taxable income, travel history, or phone number on a government document only makes it easier to enable discrimination on that basis. Would you solve racism by poking out everyone’s eyes so they can’t see skin colour?

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