TRENTON, N.J. — The Democratic governor of New Jersey has signed two bills into law that would allow the birth and death certificates of those with gender dysphoria to reflect the person’s “gender identity” instead of their birth sex.
Gov. Phil Murphy signed S.B. 478 and S.B. 493 on Tuesday, calling the occasion an “important day for New Jersey as we continue to strive toward equality for all of our residents, regardless of sex or gender expression.”
“Allowing vital records to match gender identity is an important step forward that will allow transgender individuals to control the disclosure of their transgender status,” he said in a statement.
S.B. 478 instructs that the “State registrar shall issue an amended certificate of birth to a person born in this State who requests an amended certificate of birth which shows the gender and, if applicable, the name of the person as it has been changed.” It eliminates the requirement to present any documentation from the person’s physician that they have undergone a surgical procedure.
“By enacting this legislation, we acknowledge nonsurgical transitioning which usually includes physical, psychological, social, and emotional changes,” co-sponsor Sen. Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex, told NJ.com.
In regard to death certificates, S.B. 493 reads, “The sex of the decedent shall be recorded to reflect the decedent’s gender identity, as reported by the person or persons with the right to control the funeral and disposition … unless the person completing the death certificate is presented with a document that memorializes the decedent’s gender transition.”
Murphy also signed a bill that authorizes the creation of a “Transgender Equality Task Force,” which will make recommendations of laws that can be passed in the future in regard to those with gender dysphoria.
The bills passed both the Senate and Assembly earlier this year. Read them here and here. Former governor, Chris Christie, had vetoed the birth and death certificate measures during his term, saying that there was a possibility for fraud.
As previously reported, not everyone believes that it is physically possible to change one’s sex. Walt Heyer lived as Laura Jensen for eight years and worked for the U.S. government while dressing as a woman, but found that having a physical operation as per his doctor’s recommendation did nothing to resolve the mental and emotional struggles that he faced.
One day while studying psychology at the University of California, Heyer had an epiphany: He wasn’t a transgender. He was a man with a psychological problem that trying to live as a woman wasn’t going to fix. Heyer also learned that his answer wasn’t within himself; it was in Christ.
Therefore, eight years after obtaining the operation, Heyer reverted back to living as a man, and now says he doesn’t believe that people are born transgender.
“Gender dysphoria is a psychological condition where you are dissatisfied with your gender,” he told the Daily Mail in 2015. “Nobody’s ever born a transgender. They’re manufactured as a result of something, a developmental childhood issue that has yet to be determined for many people. In retrospect, I can see that changing genders, quite frankly is just pure foolishness.”
Heyer says that those who struggle with the condition are not receiving proper care, and many medical professionals are too quick to agree to surgery.
“All of them have some level of depression, and we’re not treating them,” he lamented. “We’re just cutting off body parts and giving them a new name and a new gender. … [But] biologically, no one can transport to the other gender. It’s not even possible.”
The now 77-year-old man runs a website to compassionately help others who struggle with gender identity or are expressing regret over having a sex change operation.
“God designed man; He designed women,” Heyer said in a video recorded in 2014. “God will redeem the lives of people who struggle with gender identity issues just like I did. He redeemed my life, and I’ve been free from it as a result of that.”