Long before the "Bridgegate" scandal started poking holes in Chris Christie's man of the people narrative, I had friends (progressive friends at that) saying things like, "You know, I could vote for a Republican like Chris Christie." or "Chris Christie is the kind of candidate the Republican Party needs." Statements like that make my head want to fly off. Lest we forget that Christie vetoed marriage equality in New Jersey? Chris Christie is NOT a Republican you could vote for. Here's another reason why:
From the Advocate:
January 13, 2014
New Jersey governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would simplify the process of obtaining an amended birth certificate for transgender residents, citing a lack of safeguards against fraud and highlighting the importance of a birth certificate as a legal document.
When the bill passed the state Senate late last year, little was known about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's stance on the legislation. At the time, Gov. Christie's press secretary Michael Drewniak toldThe Advocate, "We don't typically comment on pending legislation until and unless it is passed by both houses of the legislature and goes through its normal review process in the Governor's office."
Christie's veto can be overridden by a two-thirds affirmative vote the full legislature, but this looks unlikely, as an override would take six more yes votes in the Senate and nine more in the Assembly than the bill received initially.
Troy Stevenson of Garden State Equality called the decision a “vindictive move to punish the LGBT community,” ThinkProgress reports, and Stevenson added that the bill would “have zero effect on anyone else.”
This commercial from Garden State Equality demonstrates all too well how transgender rights are very much in jeopardy in New Jersey. Something as simple as the freedom to change a birth certificate to reflect ones gender identity or expression can go a long way toward making a person feel whole. Christie's veto goes to show he has little concern about people who need government to stand up for them.
To learn more about the state of LGBT equality in New Jersey, visit Garden State Equality's website. And if Chris Christie's veto really infuriates you, maybe consider making a small donation to help them continue lobbying their legislature to overturn that veto.