Christie vetoes transgender birth certificate bill

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (C) departs City Hall in Fort Lee, N.J. on Jan. 9, 2014.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (C) departs City Hall in Fort Lee, N.J. on Jan. 9, 2014.

Chris Christie isn't exactly laying low. 

The embattled New Jersey governor signed 12 bills into law on Monday, and vetoed 10 others--including a bill that would allow transgender individuals to amend their birth certificates.

"Unlike many other states, New Jersey already has an administrative process in place to streamline applications to amend birth certificates for gender purposes without court order," Christie said in a veto statement. "Under the proposal before me, however, the sponsors seek to alter the amended birth certificate application process without maintaining appropriate safeguards. Consequently, further consideration is necessary to determine whether to make such significant changes to State law concerning the issuance of vital records."

Garden State Equality executive director Troy Stevenson dismissed Christie's reasoning in a statement on Monday, calling it a "vindictive move to punish the LGBT community after a year of tremendous progress." 

"This was a simple bureaucratic change, which would have offered tremendous support to the transgender community and have zero effect on anyone else," Stevenson added. "The governor’s security argument is disingenuous at best, as there is already a process for one to change their gender marker; this legislation would simply end an unnecessary surgical requirement."

The bill would apply to individuals who have undergone "clinically appropriate treatment for the purpose of gender transition, based on contemporary medical standards, or that the person has an intersex condition." The New Jersey Senate approved the bill, 21-11, last December after it passed the Assembly, sending it to the governor's desk for his signature.

Christie also vetoed a bill on Monday that would create a panel to study the cost and value of full-day kindergarten programs.