The governor of New Jersey signed three bills into law Tuesday giving transgender individuals a slew of protections and expanding provisions, allowing them to embrace their gender identities regardless of biological sex.
New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed S-478, which allows transgender persons to change their birth certificate without providing evidence they have had a sex-change procedure. The bill’s passage comes after former Republican Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the bill twice. Murphy also signed S-493, which mandates that death certificates accord with birth certificates that have been changed, rather than with the original certificate.
“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,” Murphy said in a statement, according to NorthJersey.com. (RELATED: Transgender Athletes In New Jersey Don’t Have To Prove Gender Anymore)
The governor also passed S-705 Tuesday, marking the creation of a “Transgender Equality Task Force.” The force will examine the variety of health care barriers transgender persons face as well as education and criminal justice barriers. The move comes after a number of transgender individuals have sued the state demanding special protections according to their chosen sex rather than birth sex.
“New Jersey will continue to stand with our LGBTQ residents in the continued pursuit of similar rights nationwide,” Murphy said.
The laws come after the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association approved a new policy in 2017 allowing transgender student athletes to participate without any official documentation or doctor’s notice of their gender identity, according to HS Live. The athletes can participate in sports that correspond with their gender identity.
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