Friday, January 31, 2014

Gov. Christie Vetoes Birth Certificate Bill

The New Jersey Senate and House passed a bill that would allow us to change the gender on our birth certificates without having surgery but the governor vetoed the bill.
Trans Woes
Huffington Gay Voices
By Margaret Klaw
Posted: 01/29/2014

As though it weren't tough enough being trans, this month New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill -- passed by big margins in both houses of the state legislature -- that would have allowed transgender people to get new birth certificates without requiring them to undergo sex reassignment surgery. But for Christie's veto, new certificates could have been issued based on a health care provider's confirmation that the person had undergone "clinically appropriate treatment for the purpose of gender transition, based on contemporary medical standards, or that the person has an intersex condition." This is in keeping with current protocols in transgender health care: Many -- actually, most -- trans people choose not to have surgical procedures for a whole host of reasons, medical as well as financial, none of which should be Gov. Christie's (or anyone else's) business.
As the author points out there are medical reasons that someone might not be able to have any surgery unless it is life threating such as diabetes. Even with medical insurance there is still a large out-of-pocket payment that must be met and many of the surgeons do not take insurance which drives up the cost.

The MSNBC said that the governor vetoed the bill because…
“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,” Christie said in a veto statement. “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.”
I do not what he means by “without maintaining appropriate safeguards” since they use the same process that you can change your gender on Social Security or your passport and the other states that allow you to change the gender on your birth certificate without surgery.

Oregon, California and Washington DC already allows birth certificates to be amended without having surgery.

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