Gov. Christie: Sign Bill Modernizing NJ’s Birth Certificate Policy
Tonight, a bill passed through the New Jersey Senate and Assembly that eases restrictions on changing the gender marker on NJ-issued birth certificates. The bill should be on Governor Chris Christie's desk tomorrow. The National Center for Transgender Equality strongly urges Governor Christie to sign this bill to make accurate birth certificates more accessible for all transgender individuals born in the state of New Jersey.
This legislaation modernizes New Jersey’s outdated policy requiring sex reassignment surgery to update the gender marker on a birth certificate. Instead, this new proposal would apply a more contemporary standard of only requiring appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition. The same bill passed through the New Jersey legislature last year, but was vetoed by Governor Chris Christie. The Governor stated concerns of fraud, deception and abuse over the removal of the surgery requirement, demonstrating a lack of understanding of contemporary standards of gender transition.
“Legislators across the country are beginning to recognize the importance of accurate identity documents for transgender people,” said Arli Christian, State Policy Council at NCTE. “We hope that Governor Christie will do the right thing and come to understand that an updated birth certificate is not about fraud but rather about access to jobs, schools, and getting other identity documents without fear of discrimination.”
If the Governor signs this bill, New Jersey would become the tenth state and the District of Columbia to modernize its birth certificate gender change requirements, joining Hawai'i, Connecticut, and Maryland as states that changed their birth certificate laws just this year.
NCTE had the honor of working alongside Garden State Equality, Gender Rights Advocacy Association of New Jersey, ACLU of New Jersey and many other dedicated activists and individuals in making this law a reality, and submitted testimony to the New Jersey legislature in support of this bill.
To learn more about identity document policies across the United States, please visit NCTE's ID Documents Center.
Read the testimony submitted by NCTE State Policy Counsel Arli Christian to the Human Services Committee of the New Jersey Assembly below: