Gov. Christie once again vetoes trans birth certificate bill, despite ease of name change laws in Virginia
The National Center for transgender Equalityreports that New JerseyGovernor Chris Christie has vetoed a bill that would’ve made it easier fortransgender people to update their birth certificates to their accurate gender. Despite overwhelming support in the New Jersey General Assembly, it’s Governor Christie’s second veto.
On his first veto of the legislation back in January 2014, Christie said he was afraid of fraud, deception, and abuse “over the removal of the surgery requirement.”
“For the second time, Governor Chris Christie has elected to allow his state’s birth certificate laws to deteriorate despite the overwhelming majority of support from the New Jersey legislature to modernize,” said National Center for transgender Equality (NCTE) State Policy Counsel Arli Christian.”
Jennifer Long, a transgender woman in the state and a 30 year US Army veteran, says she’s been able to update her state driver’s license, her social security card and passport, and as of this week, a key military document that allows veterans to receive their military benefits.
“The federal government in all the different aspects has moved on these topics at a faster rate than the state,” Long said. “The last document that’s left here in New Jersey is my birth certificate.”
Here in Virginia, most trans folks have few issues receiving a name change, but the system is not perfect, especially in more rural parts of the state.
In May 2014, Julianna Fialkowski, a 24-year-old Lynchburg trans-woman submitted her request for a name change to the Lynchburg Circuit Court in December 2013. Judge F. Patrick Yeatts denied that request, a move not only unnecessary, it was also illegal.
When this story broke, people responded with rage.
But that energy worked for good, and Fialkowski was granted a name change before having to reenter the court room.
In April 2013, Louisa County’s Jacob Haley met similar legal roadblocks when trying to change his name, but by June of that year, Haley’s wish was granted though the judge overseeing her case used female pronouns throughout the hearing.
While we are all different, there are parts of our identities, our shared experiences, that make us all the same.September 21, 2016
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