Each week we are profiling a political candidate to see where they stand on transgender issues. We have no interest in taking sides politically and we will try to look at these candidates solely based on their intentions towards the transgender community.
This week: Republican Candidate Governor Chris Christie
Christopher James “Chris” Christie was born on September 6, 1962 and is currently the 55th Governor of New Jersey. He is currently a candidate for President of the United States in 2016.
“Men go to men’s rooms, women go to women’s rooms and there really shouldn’t be a whole lot of confusion about that — public accommodations. And I don’t think we should be making life more confusing for our children.”
We do not have to look far back for Governor Christies stance on transgender issues. He is currently making headlines as he weighed on the growing national debate about restroom access to transgender individuals. When asked about a California law that gives K-12 children the right to use the bathroom they identify with Governor Christie responded by saying, “Men go to men’s rooms, women go to women’s rooms and there really shouldn’t be a whole lot of confusion about that — public accommodations. And I don’t think we should be making life more confusing for our children.” He went on to state “Life is confusing enough right now for our children.”
In 2014, Governor Christie vetoed a bill in New Jersey that would have allowed transgender citizens an easier pathway to amend their birth certificates citing security risks. He vetoed the measure again in August 2015. This means the only way a transgender person can change their birth certificate is if they go through gender reassignment surgery. According to a report by the Washington Blade, when asked by conservative radio host Michael Medved, “You have no compassion for the Caitlyn Jenners of this world?” he responded stating, “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.” He went on to state, “I have to tell the truth, Michael, there are certain things that just go beyond the pale, and that’s not what I’m gonna permit the law to be in New Jersey,” Christie added. “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.”
On other LGBT issues such as gay marriage Governor Christie has taken a similar stance as the other Republican candidates stating, ““I believe marriage is between a man and a woman,” he said. “If there are going to be changes, they should be done by a vote of the people.” At least he said he would have put it up for a vote. He did go on to criticize the Supreme Court ruling which legalized gay marriage stating, “If the Christie-type justices had been on that court in the majority, we would have won those cases in the Supreme Court rather than lost them.”
So it appears as though Governor Christie will not be a friend to the transgender community if he were elected president based on his history and recent statements. Of course we did reach out to his campaign and will post any response we receive regarding the Governor’s position on transgender issues.