New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on
Friday signed a bill that allows transgender students to use the
bathroom and locker room of their choice.
The Democrat-sponsored legislation
takes effect immediately.
Under the legislation, schools cannot
force transgender students to use facilities that conflict with their
gender identity and faculty and staff must address transgender
students by the name and pronoun they prefer.
Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle,
a Democrat from Bergen and a co-sponsor of the legislation, said:
“These guidelines are needed to ensure that transgender students
can safely be themselves without fear of being persecuted, and can
help promote a culture of understanding and acceptance that will
hopefully influence how students treat each other in and outside of
The bill was a response to President
Donald Trump's decision to rescind federal guidelines that instructed
schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their
Christie, a Republican, did not explain
his decision to sign the bill.
Christie and Democrats, who control the
House and Senate, have previously clashed on other bills related to
LGBT rights, including Christie's refusal in 2012 to sign a bill
approved by lawmakers that would have extended marriage rights to gay
and lesbian couples.