Three transgender bills pass in New Jersey Senate with bipartisan support

Jersey City, NJ Transgender March on February 3 2017. Photo by B. Nick.
File photo: Jersey City, NJ Transgender March on February 3 2017. Photo by B. Nick.

Transgender advocates are ecstatic today after the New Jersey State Senate passed the Birth Certificate Bill in Trenton. A similar bill was vetoed multiple times by former Republican Governor Chris Christie. The bill called “the Birth Certificate revised procedure for a “person who has undergone change in gender” recognizes non-binary and no longer requires surgery. S478 passed the New Jersey State Senate 30-7 yesterday. Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat, is expected to sign the bill shortly.

Seven State Senators voted against the bill. They were: Senators Bucco, Conners, Doherty, Holzapfel, Oroho, Pennacchio, and Thompson. Garden State Equality and transgender advocates have stressed their displeasure with the seven Senators that voted against the bill.

The New Jersey Senate also passed two more transgender related bills. Senate bill number #S493 “Defines information on Death Certificate including gender identification.” It was passed by a 32-4 bipartisan vote. And another Senate bill #S705 “Establishes Transgender Equality Task Force.”  It passed unanimously 36-0. Although four Senators did not cast a vote.

“These changes are forward-looking and we’ll be seeing more and more states going in the direction of self-attestation and gender-neutral options over the next few years,” said Garden State Equality in a statement before the votes.