New Jersey governor signs trans rights bills

The state of New Jersey recently promulgated three new laws. These statutes are designed to protect the rights of trans citizens of the state.

The recent progress is largely attributed to political changes. The laws have partially come about as the result of the Garden State’s new chief executive, the Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat. Murphy signed the recent spate of bills into law on Independence Day.

The previous governor, Chris Christie, was a Republican who generally fought against trans rights. He vetoed such legislation two times while in the Governor’s mansion. Christie later left the office under the cloud of scandal and low popularity ratings.

In his signing comments, Murphy said that the laws were important ones for New Jersey. “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.”

One measure, Senate Bill 705, founds New Jersey’s Transgender Equality Task Force. The TETF will be comprised of seventeen members. The TETF will advise the Governor and the State Legislature on how best to move ahead on trans-related issues.

The Task Force will have a special focus on the topics of criminal justice, employment, housing, education, and health care.

The other signed laws were Senate Bills 493 and 478. The acts will allow death and birth documents of trans and genderqueer citizens to reflect their preferred gender identity.

SB 478 and 493 overturn prior statutes, which directed state officials to go through a series of complicated steps to affirm gender-change, including doctor approval and sexual reassignment surgeries.

Murphy said that the state would stand with its citizens in the fight for rights for all LGBTQ Americans.