Chris Christie Vetoes Pro-Trans Legislation
New Jersey Governor and Republican Presidential hopeful Chris Christie vetoed key legislation that would have allowed transgender individuals a much easier process to change their names on birth certificates.
Huffington Post reports that The Birth Certificate Modernization Bill, which was approved overwhelmingly by both sides of the New Jersey legislature, “would allow state agencies to change a transgender person’s birth certificate, as long as the individual provided proof of undergoing treatment for a gender transition from a medical professional. Currently under state law, transgender individuals can only amend their birth certificates if they have undergone full gender reassignment surgery, which can be costly and creates barriers for low-income transgender individuals.”
However, the Governor disagreed. Christie provided the following response to his veto:
“Birth certificates unlock access to many of our nation and state’s critical and protected benefits such as passports, driver’s licenses, and social services, as well as other important security-dependent allowances…Accordingly, I remain committed to the principle that efforts to significantly alter State law concerning the issuance of vital records that have the potential to create legal uncertainties should be closely scrutinized and sparingly approved.”
Transgender advocates were quick to vocalize their disdain for Christie’s veto: Mason Davis, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center, said, “Governor Christie’s veto makes life more difficult for transgender people in New Jersey with absolutely no benefit to the state.”