New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) signed three bills into law on Tuesday (3 July). They all offer more rights and protections to transgender and genderqueer residents.
478 states the State registar must now ‘ issue an amended certificate of birth to a person born in this State who submits a request for an amended certificate of birth which shows the sex and name of the person as it has been changed’.
Parents and guardians can also submit the request on behalf of a minor.
The bill changes the current law of requiring proof of sex reassignment surgery. Now, someone can instead submit a form in which a healthcare provider affirms the person has ‘undergone clinically appropriate treatment for the purpose of gender transition, based on contemporary medical standards, or that the person has an intersex condition’.
493, meanwhile, covers the information provided on a death certificate. This includes the deceased’s gender identity, ‘as reported by the next of kin or the best qualified person available’.
The third bill, SB705, establishes the Transgender Equality Task Force.
As defined by the bill, this task force has the following responsibility:
Assessing the legal and societal barriers to equality for transgender individuals in the State, and providing recommendations to the Legislature and the Governor on how to ensure equality and improve the lives of transgender individuals, with particular attention to the following areas: healthcare, long term care, education, higher education, housing, employment, and criminal justice.
The continued pursuit of similar rights
Murphy released a statement applauding the bills.
‘Today is an important day for New Jersey as we continue to strive toward equality for all of our residents, regardless of sex or gender expression,’ he said.
‘New Jersey will continue to stand with our LGBTQ residents in the continued pursuit of similar rights nationwide.’
Former Governor Chris Christie (R) had vetoed the proposed legislation twice while in office.
More and more states are continuing to battle the lack of protection for LGBTI people by passing laws of their own. Numerous states are beginning to ban conversion therapy for minors and others are offering more blanket protections.