Monday, December 21, 2015

New Jersey State Senate tried to Override Gov. Chris Christie's Trans Bill Veto

In New Jersey, the State Senate tried to override Chris Christie's veto of S. 1195, a bill that would have helped transgender people obtain IDs matching their gender identity. However, the group was one vote shy of success.

The Washington Blade reports:
The unofficial vote to override was 26-14, just one vote short of the vote necessary to succeed, but the bill was pulled down before the vote became final to avoid defeat. Two Republicans — State Sen. Diane Allen (R-Cinnaminson) and State Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman (R-Somerville) — joined all Senate Democrats to vote in favor of the override.

Five Republicans who voted for initial passage of the bill voted "no" on the override: Jennifer Beck (R-Red Bank), Gerry Cardinale (R-Cresskill), Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield), Kevin O’Toole (R-Wayne) and Robert Singer (R-Lakewood). Beck voted "no" on the override even though she's a sponsor of the bill.

Because the bill was pulled down, the vote wasn't recorded in an official capacity. Although advocates had planned a vote in the Assembly, it was never taken up after the defeat in the Senate.

The legislation, S.1195, would have removed the requirement for a transgender person under gender reassignment surgery before they change the gender marker on their birth certificates.

State Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Woodbridge), who sponsors the bill in the Senate along with Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, said in a statement the loss is "a disappointment and a setback to the progress we have made for LGBTQ rights in New Jersey and in the nation."

“This bill would have removed the barriers that transgender New Jerseyans face when requesting changes to such an important and personal identification document as their birth certificate to reflect who they are," Vitale said. "It’s important to remember that this is their birth certificate, their identification, not the state’s."

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Viktor is a small town southern boy living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Twitter, writing about pop culture, politics, and comics. He’s the creator of the graphic novel StrangeLore and currently getting back into screenwriting.