New Jersey ludicrously fines towns for not offering 'non-binary' option on marriage licenses

The Division on Civil Rights (DCR) has reportedly issued Notices of Violation to 28 municipalities across New Jersey for apparently violating the Law Against Discrimination by publishing marriage applications that leave out various groups within the LGBTQIA+ community, notably, non-binary.

The municipalities are allegedly accused of publishing marriage license application forms that leave out various LGBTQIA+ members seeking to obtain marriage documents, according to the New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety

The Notices of Violation have identified that the accused municipalities did not make nonbinary identification available on the application materials, forcing individuals to apparently misgender themselves by giving their biological sex and not their gender identity. 

Outside of male and female, the New Jersey Department of Health inserted a third option for non-binary people who did not wish to designate or specify which gender they are. This change has been in effect since 2019, according to the report.

But 28 municipalities did not see the need to add the fictitious gender identity to their forms.

The report stated that “the LAD prohibits places of public accommodation from discriminating on the basis of real or perceived sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and gender expression.”

“Under the LAD, it is also unlawful for a place of public accommodation to display or post any communication or notice indicating that any of their offerings are unavailable based on a person’s sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression.”

However, it is unclear what the LAD believes to be the distinction between gender, gender identity, and gender expression, of it the AG actually beleives that non-binary people are neither male nor female.

Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin said: “Marriage equality is not just the law. It is a fundamental right.”

“The marriage equality enforcement actions we are announcing today reflect our continued commitment to ensuring that municipal governments do not discriminate against couples seeking marriage licenses on the basis of their gender, gender identity, or gender expression.”

DCR Director Sundeep lyer also chimed in: “The law in New Jersey is crystal clear:  No one can be denied the fundamental right to marry based on their gender identity.”

“Municipalities have an obligation to ensure that they are not excluding LGBTQIA+ individuals from applying for marriage licenses. Today’s enforcement actions underscore our ongoing commitment to ensuring that marriage equality remains a reality for our State’s LGBTQIA+ residents.”

As a result, the municipalities could face fines of up to $10,000 for excluding non-binary individuals on their marriage application materials.

Image: Title: lgbt flag


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