New Jersey Affirms Transgender Citizens

At a time when Republicans are politicizing the very existence of transgender people, New Jersey has taken the opposite approach. NJ now protects those seeking gender-affirming healthcare such as high-quality hormone therapy.

NJ Governor Phil Murphy this weeks signed an executive order protecting trans folk (and their families) from several forms of discrimination. And unlike the times when Murphy’s support for LGBTs feels performative, this EO is a big deal.

Trenton Councilwoman Jennifer Williams is New Jersey’s first transgender municipal lawmaker.  Inspired by Minnesota’s affirming embrace of trans persons in the face of red state hostility, Ms. Williams sought to recreate Minnesota’s hospitality here in New Jersey and so she shopped the idea around.

“Governor Murphy’s Executive Order ensures that all transgender and non-binary New Jerseyans will continue to be legally allowed to get any necessary, gender affirming-related care,” Ms. Williams told InsiderNJ. “This includes transition care, mental health counseling and any other care recommended and approved of by the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. This EO also makes New Jersey a safe haven for all those Americans in states such as Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and South Dakota that have or will soon be banning best-practice medical care for transgender youth – even though their parents lovingly support them.”

According to Ms. Williams, both Alabama and Idaho have made it a felony crime to provide medical care to trans children.
“I’m quite proud that my home state will provide a new home for our fellow Americans needing to flee from where they live just so they can be healthy, happy and to live authentically,” Ms. Williams added.
Louise Walpin, a living legend, was part of the first gay marriage in New Jersey history along with her wife Marsha Shapiro. (see pic below) She’s also a clinician with decades of experience on her side.

“As a psychiatric medical professional, I am particularly pleased that professional licensing boards have been prohibited from suspending or revoking someone’ s license for providing or assisting in gender affirming care,” Ms. Walpin told InsiderNJ, referring to a practice that happens elsewhere. “This EO will save countless lives; by offering gender affirming treatment with dignity and respect, suicide rates will decrease. I am proud that NJ has taken a leadership role in caring for all in the LGBTQ community.”

(Trans youth are increasingly vulnerable to homelessness, violence, and suicide.)

Ms. Williams and Ms. Walpin helped to spearhead the effort which lead to this week’s EO after watching similarly-intended legislation languish in NJ’s democratic-dominated General Assembly. That stalled bill, sponsored by NJ Senator Andrew Zwicker, is the latest in a long series of social issues that Trenton democrats are slow to embrace such as gay marriage and weed.

So on one hand you’re got the GOP still using the lives of LGBTQ folks to score political points. And yes, there’s an all-too-familiar mean-spiritedness with which red states intrude into the medical decisions of trans folk (something to reflect on the next time you hear a republican whining about big government.)

And on the other hand, you’ve got NJ’s notoriously timid Democratic Party once again running from the issues their base cares about most with real-world negative consequences for anyone living on the margins.

And that’s what make the allyship of straight politicians like Mr. Zwicker so meaningful.

“As a parent, I want what any parent wants – to make sure that our children are safe and healthy,” Mr. Zwicker told InsiderNJ. “As a legislator, I am responsible for speaking out and protecting everyone I represent. So when I heard from parents who are fearful for their (trans) child’s health, safety, and well-being or from people who are scared to be who they are, I felt an obligation to defend their freedom in the face of attacks and to let them know I support them.”

Jay Lassiter is an award-winning writer and podcaster based in Cherry Hill. When he’s not Tweeting, he’s busy keeping the government out of your bong and your womb and your bedroom.


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5 responses to “New Jersey Affirms Transgender Citizens”

  1. Agreed. In addition I resent this lifestyle being thrust into my face, I will not be coerced into celebrating a lifestyle I am not comfortable with, and I certainly don’t want my taxes going to fund any of this.

  2. No one is forcing anyone to “celebrate” a “lifestyle you are not comfortable with”. But you cannot force your views on others, nor can you discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community. That should be easy enough for simple minds such as yours to understand.

  3. Schnackenberg is a “useful idiot” who is gaslighting for the depraved crowd in New Jersey who push this utter nonsense that women can be men and men can be women. If he took a look at the violence the trans crowd is now doing, he’d understand they have serious mental problems. He attacks Peter Z, calling him simple-minded by saying he cannot force his views on to others, nor can he discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community. Sorry Micheal, but there is a thing called the First Amendment Freedom of Speech and Freedom to Protest. Peter can say what he want.

    All you have to do is choose not to listen. If you want to debate, use facts and evidence, instead of personal ad hominem attacks. I use facts and evidence to show that you are nothing more than a mouthpiece for violent groups like the trans groups and LBGTQ crowd who instigate violence against those whose views differ, or when they can’t get what they want.

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