Garden State Equality, a leading LGBTQ advocacy organization, celebrated the passage of the laws, noting that they bring our state into line with others having similar laws in place.
You probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about your birth certificate, the first legal recognition of you as an individual and the document you need when you’re applying for a passport, a marriage license and often a job.
But what if that piece of paper does not accurately reflect who you are?
Gov. Phil Murphy recently signed a package of bills creating a welcome layer of protection and rights for the estimated 30,100 transgender people living in New Jersey.
One of the measures allows people who have undergone a change in gender to obtain amended birth certificates without proof of surgery, in essence removing a 35-year-old law requiring a transgender person to submit medical records showing that reassignment surgery had taken place.
The new law recognizes that some transgender persons opt for hormone therapy rather than surgery as they transition.
“By enacting this legislation, we acknowledge nonsurgical transitioning, which usually includes physical, psychological, social and emotional changes,” said Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex), a co-sponsor of the bill now known as the Babs Siperstein Law.
Murphy signs laws protecting transgender rights
Siperstein, a tireless activist for LGBTQ rights and the first elected transgender member of the Democratic National Committee, is widely credited with advocating for the legislation.
Twice a so-called “Birth Certificate Bill” came achingly close to reality, finding wide support among state legislators. Twice it was vetoed by former Gov. Chris Christie.
Siperstein, political and legislative director for the Gender Rights Advocacy Association of New Jersey, called the veto “arbitrary, capricious and designed to harm transgender people, who are the most vulnerable among LGBT New Jerseyans.”
The Edison resident doesn’t use the term “vulnerable” lightly. The 1.4 million transgender people living in the United States live with the near-constant reality of discrimination and hatred.
Last year, more than two dozen transgender Americans were killed as a result of that irrational hate. The Centers for Disease Control also reports that 41 percent of all transgender adults have attempted suicide at one point in their lives.
In addition to requiring the state Registrar of Vital Statistics to issue amended birth certificates, one of the bills Murphy signed the week we celebrated the nation’s independence allows someone planning a funeral for a transgender person to request that …read more
Source:: New Jersey Real-Time News