New Jersey Governor vetoes bill to allow transgender people to obtain new birth certificate
TRENTON -- Republican Governor Chris Christie Monday vetoed a bill Monday, (A-4097/S-2786) which was designed to allow transgender people in New Jersey to obtain a new birth certificate to reflect their gender identity without surgical requirements.
Christie's veto was absolute which is means he rejected the law outright and returned the measure to the State Legislature without amendment. A 2/3 vote will now be required to override the governor's veto in order for the measure to become law -- 27 votes in the Senate and 54 votes in the general assembly. The State's Senate had passed the measure last month with the lower house passing the measure last June.
The language of the measure was to insure that individuals would be able to correct their birth certificates without a previously mandated surgical requirement. During the Senate hearings on the measure, Senator Joseph Vitale,(D-Middlesex), the chairman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, and who sponsored the bill pointed out that "not every transgender person undergoes surgery because of the expense and the health risks involved with a major surgery, some opt for hormone replacement therapy."
This measure would require a new birth record for people who have undergone "clinically appropriate treatment for the purpose of gender transition, based on contemporary medical standards, or that the person has an intersex condition." The person's licensed health care provider would have to sign a form vouching the treatment had taken place, according to the bill
Speaking with the NJ Star-Ledger in December the Senator said,
"Birth certificates always have been a means of how we traditionally identify a person. In the transgender community, it doesn't reflect who they are mentally spiritually and in every other way but physically," Vitale said. "They don't argue what they were then, but I am not that person now."