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Garden State Equality executive director Christian Fuscarino

Supreme Court axes rule that required name changes be noticed in newspapers

LGBT groups say requirement hurt transgender individuals

By Nikita Biryukov, December 15 2020 10:52 am

The New Jersey Supreme Court approved a rules change that will no longer require individuals who legally change their name to publish notice of their name change in newspapers Tuesday.

The move was celebrated by the state’s LGBT community, who sought to change the rule because of its impact on transgender individuals.

“Removing the requirement for people to publish name changes in the newspaper gives transgender and non-binary people the dignity and privacy they deserve,” said Garden State Equality Executive Director Christian Fuscarino said. “Eliminating these financial and social barriers ensures that trans people of all socio-economic backgrounds have one less obstacle in the way of living full and healthy lives.”

Garden State Equality, the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund and Lowenstein Sandler, a law firm, in October urged the state to pull the notice requirement, which they said opens transgender residents to harassment.

“We applaud the New Jersey Supreme Court for recognizing the safety and privacy considerations that are often barriers for transgender name change petitioners,” said TLDEF’s Name Change Project Counsel Charlie Arrowood. “Removing the publication requirement for name changes not only makes the process more accessible and affordable to those who need it, but also removes the safety burden of publicizing private and personal information.”

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