Chelsea Manning and New Jersey Trans Politics Progress

| Jan 29, 2018

A TRIP TO LA LA LAND AND THE START OF REAL PROGRESS IN MOTION

Chelsea Manning

When I first heard that Chelsea Manning was running for the U.S. Senate and would challenge one of the most respected members, Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland, my immediate reaction was, how vain, stupid and wasteful was this action? Go away!

Manning can be described, at best, as a whistleblower, and at worst a traitor, but I certainly think we can describe her as one who willingly broke the law for a higher cause risking national security and one who acknowledged responsibility and paid her dues. She certainly attained some level of celebrity. Ahhh the spoils of celebrity status. Elitism and its privilege? What have you actually done to show you can represent the people of Maryland? More Trumpism?

Well, now she has been hanging around with alt-righters and holocaust deniers . . . oh , that’s real good since Cardin is Jewish. But wait, she was acting as a spy . . . okay now that you are out what are you doing with that info . . . try and focus, girl!

Chelsea, either go away or do something positive. Learn the political system, hey Ben Cardin has proven himself to be a proactive champion of LGBT rights.
Perhaps you might want to join his campaign and educate and be educated yourself. Perhaps go to a district that with the prospect of increased Democratic voter turnout you might help flip a district or two. Or just maybe you are a Trumpist and want to deconstruct our government . . . the anarchists on the far left have much in common with the fascists, religious or otherwise on the far right — The end of Democracy!

REAL PROGRESS UNDERWAY IN NEW JERSEY

New Jersey’s new governor, Phillip D. Murphy.

Meanwhile in New Jersey, progress is on a fast track! During the 8 years of Chris Christie in the State House, he vetoed hundreds of bills passed by the Democratic controlled legislature, but every time there was an attempt to override his veto, Republicans bailed out and refused to give Democrats the super majority needed to override. I know about this first hand as we had a bipartisan coalition to reform NJ Birth certificate law, eliminating the need for a person to have surgery to change the gender marker of their birth certificate and instead base it on the form I had worked with the Motor Vehicle Commission in 2009.

On Monday, January 22, 2018 in new legislature, in the first meeting of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, members heard testimony on “S478-Revises procedure for issuance of amended birth certificate for person who has undergone change in gender.” The bill differed from that which Christie vetoed as it eliminated the need for a medical gatekeeper and recognized that some people do not fall within the confines of the gender binary. The amendments are state of the art and reflect a libertarian concept of self identification!
An articulate and well organized group of bipartisan speakers representing the NJ Bar, Equality organizations, political activists of both parties and most importantly parents of transgender and non binary children and those children gave powerful testimony.

The bill passed (breezed) in committee 7-0 with 2 abstentions and now moves to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

The bill provides that the State registrar of vital statistics is to issue an amended certificate of birth to a person born in this State who submits a request for an amended certificate of birth showing the name and gender of the person, as it has been changed. Under current law, the State registrar is to issue an amended certificate of birth only upon receipt of a medical certificate from the person’s physician indicating that the person’s gender has been changed through surgical procedure (known as sex reassignment surgery). This bill would change the requirement to provide that a person need only submit a form, provided by the State registrar and completed by the person, or the person’s guardian, which affirms the following language: “I, (petitioner’s full name), hereby attest under penalty of perjury that the request for a change in gender to (female, male, or undesignated/non-binary) is to conform my legal gender to my gender identity and is not for any fraudulent purpose.”

Current law further requires the State registrar to place the original certificate of birth and all papers pertaining to the amended certificate of birth under seal, which is not to be broken except by order of a court of competent jurisdiction. This bill would permit the seal to be broken upon the request of the person who is the subject of the certificate of birth, or upon the request of the parent or guardian, if the person is a minor.

The bill also provides that in the case of a resident of this State who was born in another state or a foreign jurisdiction, if such other state or foreign jurisdiction requires a court order in order to amend a certificate of birth to reflect a change in gender, a court in this State would have jurisdiction to issue an order declaring the person’s gender upon receipt of a statement affirming under penalty of perjury that the request for a declaration of female, male, or undesignated/non-binary gender is to conform with gender identity and not for any fraudulent purpose.

The committee amended the bill to:

  • eliminate references to a person’s “sex” and replace with references to a person’s “gender”;
  • remove the provision stating that an application may be submitted by a parent or guardian, if the applicant is a minor, because it is implicit that a parent or guardian may act on behalf of a minor;
  • eliminate the provisions that would have authorized the issuance of an amended certificate of birth only when a health care provider submits a medical certificate indicating that the sex of the person has been changed by surgical procedure; and insert new provisions specifying that an amended certificate of birth may be issued upon receipt of a form completed by the person, or the person’s guardian, which affirms the following language: “I, (petitioner’s full name), hereby attest under penalty of perjury that the request for a change in gender to (female, male, or undesignated/non-binary) is to conform my legal gender to my gender identity and is not for any fraudulent purpose”;
  • clarify that a court of this State will have jurisdiction, in the case of a resident who was born in another state or foreign jurisdiction, to issue an order declaring the person’s gender upon receipt of a statement that affirms under penalty of perjury that the request for a declaration of female, male, or undesignated/non-binary gender is to conform with gender identity and not for any fraudulent purpose;
  • revise the bill synopsis to reflect a change in language from “sex” to “gender”; and make a minor grammatical correction.

A1718 is the corresponding Assembly Bill that, I presume will be amended and heard and the first meeting of the Assembly Human Services Committee!

Stay tuned! Elections do matter!

Care to make a comment on this post? Login here and use the comment area below.

Tags: , , ,

Category: Community News, Opinion, Politics

About the Author ()

“Babs” is a member of the Executive Committee of the Democratic National Committee, Deputy Vice Chair of the NJ Democratic State Committee and Political Director of the Gender Rights Advocacy Association of NJ. For the current campaign she serves on the Executive Committee of Trans United 4 Obama. She has served as Vice Chair of the DNC Eastern Caucus, President of NJ Stonewall Democrats, Co-Chair of National Stonewall Democrats Federal PAC Board, Vice-Chair of Garden State Equality, Executive Board member of National Stonewall Democrats as Chair of the DNC Relations Committee and a member of the NJ Civil Unions Review Commission.

Comments are closed.