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Another Way California Is Better Than New Jersey If You're Trans

Another Way California Is Better Than New Jersey If You're Trans


While one governor laughed at how he made it harder to live openly as a trans person in his state, another put his pen to paper today to make life easier for transgender citizens.

California, which already leads the nation in protecting transgender students, now has stronger legal protections on the books to protect transgender people of all ages.

Gov. Jerry Brown today announced he had signed a bill, A.B. 830, that clarifies that transgender individuals and others targeted for violence because of their gender expression can sue under a law that covers crimes motivated by gender.

Just this year, 13 transgender women in the U.S. have been killed. That is one more than the total number of trans people murdered in 2014.

Brown's signature on A.B. 830 comes the same day New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie chuckled as he discussed in a radio interview how he once again blocked a measure to make it easier for trans people in the Garden State to change the gender marker on their birth certificates.

"Listen, for people who do not have a sex-change operation, all the bill required was somebody that who would seek a doctor's treatment and that that doctor would verify they felt like the opposite gender. ... I have to tell the truth, Michael, there are certain things that just go beyond the pale, and that's not what I wanted the law to be in New Jersey," Christie told conservative talk show host Michael Medved. "It doesn't make any sense to me, and that's why I vetoed it again, and if they send it to me again, I will veto it again." Read more about Gov. Christie's veto here.

As The Advocate reported in May, both New Jersey and California have state laws offering transgender citizens protection from discrimination, as do 17 other states, according to the Transgender Law Center. But today California expanded those protections.

California Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman of Stockton, the bill's author and the chair of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus, called the legislation necessary to achieve equality, fairness, and justice for transgender Californians.

"We need a transformation in the way society views and treats the transgender community," said Engman. "Meanwhile bills like this accomplish small, but necessary steps."

Already enacted into California law are measures that make it easier for transgender people to change their names without a court order and modify their birth certificates, and one that prohibits health insurance discrimination based on gender identity.

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