On April 4, 2023, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 326, making New Jersey a safe place for anyone who seeks or provides gender-affirming healthcare. “We will continue… to 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,” Governor Murphy said.
Gender-affirming health care is defined as any care that (1) addresses a transgender or non-binary person’s physical, mental, and/or social health needs and (2) is designed to support and affirm a transgender or non-binary person’s gender identity. Gender-affirming healthcare may include mental health care, surgery, hormone replacement therapy, and/or a variety of other behavioral or medical interventions, treatments, and therapies designed to support and affirm an individual’s gender identity.
The recent Executive Order directs all state departments and agencies to protect against repercussions or backlash resulting from providing, receiving, seeking, assisting in, or traveling to New Jersey for gender-affirming healthcare. Unlike New Jersey, other states have criminalized gender-affirming healthcare. E.O. 326 bans Executive branch departments and agencies in New Jersey from cooperating with interstate investigations that seek to prosecute people who seek or provide gender-affirming healthcare. The Order protects patients, healthcare providers, and people who provide support along the way. This includes family, friends, or loved ones, transportation providers, and more. This protection applies to both New Jerseyans and people traveling to New Jersey from another state.
In New Jersey, a state law passed in 2017 (A4568) increased requirements and protections for transgender-related care in health insurance. It bars discrimination in health care coverage and services on the basis of gender identity, including transgender exclusions. This law applies to Medicaid and is included in the contract between the state and the managed care insurance companies, which provide Medicaid care services. The 2017 law also applies to private health insurers and state health plans. These protections extend to residents of long-term care facilities, who must have gender-related care available to them on a medically necessary basis. Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund has a helpful write-up on insurance guidance on transgender-related health care: Health Insurance Guidance—New Jersey.
Garden State Equality has mapped more than 200 LGBTQ+-friendly healthcare providers across the state. Their Affirming Healthcare Map provides the locations of providers who have proactively identified themselves as such, and some have been specifically trained by Garden State Equality on best practices in providing care to this group.
New Jersey Law Against Discrimination
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) is one of the most extensive anti-discrimination laws in the country. It was expanded to protect lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals in 1992 and transgender, gender nonconforming, and non-binary people in 2007. The law protects against harassment or discrimination and applies at work, in public places such as stores and restaurants, at most schools, as a consumer, and when buying or renting property. Under the LAD, you have the right to be treated according to your gender identity. You also have the right to self-identify, dress according to your gender identity, and be addressed by your name, title, and pronouns without being required to show “proof” of gender identity.
If you believe your civil rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with the Department of Civil Rights (DCR) within 180 days of the incident. You can file a complaint online via the NJ Bias Investigation Access System. The system is available in English and Spanish. You can also call 1-833-NJDCR4U (833-653-2748) to request assistance completing the online form. To request a disability-related accommodation or assistance in a language other than English or Spanish, call 1-833-NJDCR4U or email [email protected]. You can also file a lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court. If successful, you may be awarded attorney’s fees from the party found liable for the discrimination.
Transgender Information Hub
The state of New Jersey recently created a new, one-stop hub, Transgender Information Hub, to help transgender and non-binary New Jerseyans find information about essential programs and services. The website includes information about rights and protections, how to change a name, how to access legal assistance and mental health or medical support, and more.
This information last reviewed: May 31, 2023