Transgender Law Center is disappointed by Governor Christie’s decision to veto a bill that would have created common-sense reforms to streamline the process of changing the gender marker and name on a birth certificate for transgender people in New Jersey.
Surgery requirements for transgender people can be difficult if not impossible to meet for many transgender people due to high costs combined with widespread discrimination by health insurance companies. Many transgender people also simply cannot have invasive surgery for medical reasons, or choose not to for personal reasons. The strong consensus of medical experts today recognizes that the appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition must be determined on an individual, case-by-case basis between a patient and their doctor.
“It’s incredibly disappointing that Governor Christie would veto this simple modernization to New Jersey’s birth certificate law that would bring the state’s standards in line with modern medical knowledge,” said Masen Davis, Transgender Law Center Executive Director. “Many of us wouldn’t think twice when asked to show our ID, but this is a very serious issue for transgender people. Having identity documents that accurately reflect who you are is vital in so many areas of everyday life – from applying for a job to exercising our rights at the ballot box. Governor Christie’s veto makes life more difficult for transgender people in New Jersey with absolutely no benefit to the state.”
In recent years federal and state agencies across the country are increasingly removing outdated surgical requirements, including the U.S. Passport agency, Social Security Administration, and the state of California.