TRENTON, New Jersey, July 31, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A new state of New Jersey law requires teachers, school administrators, and students to refer to boys as “girls” and girls as “boys” if that’s a person’s preferred “gender identity.”
The law, signed by Republican Gov. Chris Christie, also requires public schools to change students’ names if asked and to open girls’ toilets, locker rooms, and showers to boys who “identify” as female, or else construct “alternative arrangements.”
“This is a huge victory for equality in New Jersey,” LGBTQI organization Garden State Equality stated in a press release. “We want to send a big thank you to Gov. Christie for standing on the right side of history.”
New Jersey Family Policy Council President Len Deo warned of dangers inherent in giving “opposite biological sex access” to children and teens’ intimate facilities.
Deo opined that transgender bathrooms should “be a local issue between parents, students, and the school board.”
The law additionally mandates that public schools provide “professional development opportunities” to hire homosexuals and transgenders.
Public schools in the state must allow students to use whatever “restroom or locker room” that corresponds “with the student’s gender identity” and provide “reasonable alternative arrangements if needed.” Transgender students are to be allowed to play in gym class as members of the opposite sex.
Calling a transgender boy his newly chosen name (“Sally”) and referring to him as “she” (or “zir”) is mandated “regardless of whether a legal name change or change in official school records has occurred.”
Schools must allow boys to wear dresses and must not tell parents if a student is “transitioning.” Language in the new law reasons that it is necessary “to ensure a student’s safety and comfort.”
Supporting legislators warned against defeating the measure. Democratic Assemblywoman Marlene Caride said to do so would “cultivate intolerance” and sending students a message that it is “OK to bully others.” Democratic Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle chimed that the law allows students to “be themselves.”
Democratic Sen. Teresa Ruiz insisted the bill would make schools “safe” and “supportive environments for all students.” She didn’t comment on how safe the law is for girls encountering boys in school showers.
New Jersey already passed an anti-discrimination law favoring LGBTQ students, but the new law specifies that school bathroom policy must conform to a student’s chosen gender identity instead of their biological sex.
The Assembly bill was introduced in February and the Senate bill in March, after President Trump rescinded predecessor Barack Obama’s guidelines telling schools nationwide to make female bathrooms available to transgender males.
The legislation notes that the “Q” in “LGBTQ” no longer stands for “Queer” but for “Questioning.”