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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.”

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  1. no, overtex
    you fixed it for you

    Posted by: woody | Jan 14, 2014 8:06:30 AM

  2. no, overtex
    you fixed it for you

    Posted by: woody | Jan 14, 2014 8:06:35 AM

  3. 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.

    Posted by: anon | Jan 14, 2014 12:16:43 PM

  4. 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.

    Posted by: Randy | Jan 14, 2014 3:38:39 PM

  5. 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?

    Posted by: Knock | Jan 14, 2014 10:29:59 PM

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