Chris Christie Vetoes Transgender Birth Certificate Bill


As if Chris Christie could use any more haters this week, he’s gone and done something to enrage the LGB — and especially T — communities. Yesterday, the New Jersey governor vetoed a bill that would allow transgender people to change their gender on their birth certificates before undergoing surgery. His explanation:

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.

Instinct notes that New Jersey legislature has an opportunity to override the veto, but a decision on that isn’t expected anytime soon. For now, transgender people in the state cannot alter their birth certificates until they undergo complete gender-reassignment surgery.