Chris Christie said on Wednesday a bill he vetoed that would have allowed transgender people to change the gender identifications on their birth certificates without undergoing sex reassignment surgery went "beyond the pale" and didn't "make any sense."
Asked about his decision by radio host Michael Medved, Christie said, "Listen, you know, for people who do not have a sex change operation, all the bill required was that somebody would seek a doctor's treatment and that that doctor would verify that, in fact, they felt like the opposite gender."
The bill, which the New Jersey governor vetoed on Monday, would have required that people show proof that they underwent "clinically appropriate treatment for the purpose of gender transition, or that the person has an intersex condition." Christie nixed the same bill once before in 2014.
In the radio interview, Christie defended his decision, saying that "there are certain things that just go beyond the pale" and that "it doesn't make any sense to me."
"I have to tell you the truth, Michael, you know, there are certain things that just go beyond the pale," he said. "And that's not what I'm gonna permit the law to be in New Jersey. 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."
In the statement he issued on Monday to explain the decision, however, Christie cited the security of "many of our nation and state's critical and protected benefits" as the reason he vetoed the bill.
"Birth certificates unlock access to many of our nation and state's critical and protected benefits such as passports, driver's licenses, and social services, as well as other important security-dependent allowances," the governor's statement said. "Accordingly, I remain committed to the principle that efforts to significantly alter state law concerning the issuance of vital records that have the potential to create legal uncertainties should be closely scrutinized and sparingly approved."
Christopher Massie is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Christopher Massie at Christopher.Massie@buzzfeed.com.
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