Chris Christie Vetoes Bill That Sought To Help Transgender New Jerseyans Amend Birth Certificates
Legislation that would have helped transgender individuals change their birth certificates in New Jersey has been vetoed by embattled Governor Chris Christie. In his veto summary, Gov. Christie blames his inaction on a "lack of safeguards" in the measure that would have lead to outright chaos and Armageddon, apparently, if the trans community was allowed easier access to legal documents.
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.
The veto has been labeled a “vindictive move to punish the LGBT community" by Garden State Equality's Troy Stevenson, who also said the bill would “have zero effect on anyone else.”
The New Jersey legislature has an opportunity to override Christie's veto, but word on possible votes are scant and unlikely to arrive anytime soon. Until change happens, transgender New Jerseyans must undergo surgery that effectively sterilizes them forever in order to obtain proper legal documents.
(Via Think Progress)