How an Executive Order Created a Safe Haven For Trans People in New Jersey

In April 2023, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 326 (EO 326). This order establishes the state of New Jersey as a safe haven for gender affirming care. It applies to all state agencies, and impacts relations between New Jersey and states that have acted to erode the rights and humanity of trans citizens. Here’s a breakdown of EO 326, and what it means.

Who is covered by The Executive Order?

EO 326 establishes that adults and youths who live in New Jersey have the right to access the healthcare services they need. This is regardless of their gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. The executive order covers gender affirming care, but is not limited to that. For example, a healthcare provider cannot refuse services to a transgender patient for moral or religious reasons.

Equal Access to Healthcare

These protections also extend to those who do not live in New Jersey, but who are attempting to access care in our state. This includes people who travel to NJ for the express purposes of obtaining gender affirming care. The governor has made it clear that he fully supports the rights of trans people to receive the care they need. 

What is Gender Affirming Care?

Gender affirming care is a range of physical, psychological, and behavioral health services that are provided to help both adults and children by supporting their gender identity. This care may be provided to individuals who are trans, nonbinary, or CIS.

This care includes reassignment surgery, therapy, hormone treatment, cosmetic procedures, and providing products such as chest binders. CIS individuals may also receive gender affirming treatment such as hormones or corrective surgeries.

A Haven For Healthcare Refugees

Governor Murphy expressed in no uncertain terms that this executive order was established in response to several anti-trans laws passed in multiple legislative bodies across the United States. EO 326 follows the creation of a transgender information hub that was announced on Trans Day of Visibility earlier this year. This is an online resource for anyone who wants to seek information on gender affirming care, or search for providers and advocates so that they can obtain the services they need.

Further, in addition to making it legal for trans people to receive healthcare and express themselves openly, EO 326 tasks NJ state agencies to advocate for trans individuals. This directive includes coordination between agencies to assist transgender people in accessing care, and providing legal protections as needed.

What is a Healthcare Refugee?

A healthcare refugee is a person who is unable to obtain healthcare services due to laws or other roadblocks they encounter where they live. While many trans people are healthcare refugees because of registration, some are unable to access care because of a lack of providers or insurance limitations.

Protection From Civil or Criminal Penalties

As anti-transgender laws pass, and new ones are proposed, there is real fear that legislative arms will attempt to reach across state lines. EO 326 predicts this, and puts into place some important legal protections. Specifically, the state will not aid in civil or criminal investigations against patients, healthcare providers, parents, or other individuals who obtain or help another person obtain transgender healthcare. Additionally, the state will not cooperate with any extradition orders relating to legal actions taken against people pursuing such care.

Trans-Friendly Communities Thrive

When state governors and private enterprise such as Taimi trans chat acts to support the trans and gender non-conforming, everybody benefits. Beyond supporting individuals directly impacted, EO 326 will lead to healthier, more diverse communities across New Jersey..