NEW JERSEY – Governor Phil Murphy Tuesday signed Executive Order No. 326 establishing New Jersey as a safe haven for gender-affirming health care by directing all state departments and agencies to protect all persons, including health care professionals and patients, against potential repercussions resulting from providing, receiving, assisting in providing or receiving, seeking, or traveling to New Jersey to obtain gender-affirming health care services.
As access to gender-affirming health care is threatened across the country, today’s executive order reflects the Murphy Administration’s commitment to fostering a safe and affirming health care environment in New Jersey.
“Across the nation, we are witnessing attacks led by certain states that seek to undermine the equality, dignity, and safety of the LGBTQIA+ community, especially transgender and non-binary youth,” Murphy. said “As leaders, our greatest responsibility is ensuring that every person we represent, regardless of their gender identity or gender expression, is entitled to respect, fairness, and freedom. We will continue to uphold these principles in New Jersey and support every person’s right to live freely and authentically by making our state a safe haven for those seeking or providing gender-affirming health care.”
Executive Order No. 326 aims to ensure that members of the LGBTQIA+ community present in New Jersey, including transgender and non-binary youth, enjoy equal access to quality health care services, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, and regardless of whether they are a resident of New Jersey or any other state.
The Order bars the extradition of an individual within New Jersey to another state for providing, receiving, or otherwise facilitating gender-affirming health care services that are legal in New Jersey, and prohibits Executive Branch departments and agencies from cooperating with interstate investigations aiming to hold someone liable for civil or criminal penalties associated with such care. Under the Order, all Executive Branch departments and agencies will be required to, within the fullest extent of their authority, pursue opportunities and coordinate to protect people or entities in New Jersey providing, receiving, assisting in providing or receiving, seeking, or traveling to obtain gender-affirming health care services.
Governor Murphy signed the Executive Order today alongside representatives from Garden State Equality and Bridges4Life, as well as LGBTQIA+ activists.
“New Jersey continues to be one of the best states in the nation to live as an LGBTQ+ person,” said Garden State Equality Executive Director Christian Fuscarino. “As Trans people are under attack by state governments across our country, we’re grateful Governor Murphy signed today’s executive order, which comes just after the state launched the Transgender Information Hub last week on Trans Day of Visibility. We’re proud to be from a state where the Governor understands that the fight for LGBTQ+ equality isn’t limited to a specific day, week, or month, and we thank him for taking yet another action to protect trans people in New Jersey and those who care for them.”
“Living in a day and time like this, where we are seeing more than 200 bills presented, and introduced in legislative offices, it’s not only important but humane that our Governor presented this executive order protecting gender-affirming care throughout New Jersey,” said Bridges4Life founder Tahtianna Fermin. “Bridges4Life is honored to be in presence.”
“When transgender youth are under attack across the country, this gives me hope,” said youth activist, Rebekah Bruesehoff. “I have always been grateful to live in New Jersey, but I am especially proud now to see my state take action that will protect and support not only me but my friends in states across the country. Transgender kids and teens like me just want to live our lives and be ourselves.”
”I cannot possibly overstate the importance of this action,” said Jamie Bruesehoff, activist and mother of Rebekah Bruesehoff. “Families like mine across the country are being made into political refugees because of their state governments. They are hurting and scared. Kids like Rebekah should get to be kids instead of fighting political bullies. I’m so grateful to Governor Murphy for his continued leadership, and I’m proud to be a New Jerseyan.”
For purposes of this Order, “gender-affirming health care” includes care that addresses a transgender or non-binary person’s physical, mental, and/or social health needs and that is designed to support and affirm a transgender or non-binary person’s gender identity, including but not limited to, mental health or psychiatric care; surgery, hormone replacement therapy, and other nonsurgical treatments intended to align aspects of a person’s life with their gender identity; and other behavioral or medical interventions, treatments, and therapies designed to support and affirm an individual’s gender identity.