Transgender people in N.J. can now alter birth certificates without doctor signing off

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (Noah K. Murray/AP Photo, File)

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (Noah K. Murray/AP Photo, File)

It is now easier for transgender people in New Jersey to change the gender listed on their birth certificates.

Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, signed a law this week permitting transgender people to alter the document by simply filling out a form. They will be able to choose female, male, or undesignated/non-binary.

Previous state law required a doctor to certify that the person had undergone sex-reassignment surgery.

Former Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, twice vetoed the legislation, saying he wanted tighter safeguards for changes to birth certificates.

Transgender people are “now going to be able to change their gender marker, and they’re not going to have to prove to anyone that they’ve had surgery because, honestly, that’s nobody’s business,” said Christian Fuscarino, executive director of Garden State Equality.

Pennsylvania and Delaware require transgender people who want to amend their birth certificates to provide a letter from a doctor explaining that the person received treatment for a gender transition. There is no requirement to prove that the person has received surgery.

Murphy also signed a bill permitting gender identity to be listed on death certificates and another that will establish a Transgender Equality Task Force.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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