Bill Text: NJ AR98 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Memorializes Department of Defense to authorize changes on certain military service forms of veterans who are transgender.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-02-01 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee [AR98 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-AR98-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION No. 98

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 1, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  CLEOPATRA G. TUCKER

District 28 (Essex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Memorializes Department of Defense to authorize changes on certain military service forms of veterans who are transgender.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Assembly Resolution memorializing the Department of Defense to authorize changes on certain military service forms.

 

Whereas,  The DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD Form 214) is issued by the United States Department of Defense (DOD) to a service member upon retirement, separation, or discharge from active duty from all branches of the United States military; the form represents a verified record of active military service, awards, and medals; and

Whereas, The policy of DOD is not to change the DD Form 214 to reflect a gender change made by a veteran after military service since DOD considers the form a historical document which records facts during military service; and

Whereas, Military veterans who are transgender have honorably served their country, and yet they often encounter substantial burdens in obtaining post-service benefits because the names and genders recorded on these military service forms no longer match their current names and genders following their military service; and

Whereas, The DD Form 214 is commonly required to be submitted to federal agencies in order for a veteran to receive benefits, and a veteran who is transgender may be uncomfortable explaining a gender and name change so that the veteran may have difficulty or even forego seeking veterans' employment preference benefits, as well as medical, dependent, funeral, and other veterans' benefits; and, if transgender status is shared, the veteran may experience discrimination based on that status; and

Whereas, Veterans who are transgender may be denied their benefits altogether if there are discrepancies between their current documents, which reflect their current names and genders, and the information shown on their DD Form 214; and

Whereas, According to the Williams Institute at the University of California Los Angeles School of Law, there are an estimated 140,000 military veterans who may be transgender, but it is difficult to ascertain the precise number since these individuals may choose not to discuss a gender change; and

Whereas, If DOD were to give military veterans who are transgender the opportunity to change their DD Form 214 to reflect their current legal names and genders, these veterans would be able to easily take advantage of and enjoy the same veterans' employment preference benefits, as well as medical, dependent, funeral, and other veterans' benefits, which are enjoyed by other military veterans; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

     1.    This House respectfully memorializes the Secretary of Defense of the United States Department of Defense to authorize changes to the DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, and give military veterans who are transgender the opportunity to change their DD Form 214 to reflect their current legal names and genders, so that these veterans would be able to easily take advantage of and enjoy the same veterans' employment preference benefits, as well as medical, dependent, funeral, and other veterans' benefits, which are enjoyed by other military veterans.

 

     2.    Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly to the President and Vice President of the United States, the Secretary of Defense of the United States Department of Defense, each member of Congress elected from this State, and the Adjutant General of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This resolution memorializes the Secretary of Defense of the United States Department of Defense to authorize changes to the DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, and give military veterans who are transgender the opportunity to change their DD Form 214 to reflect their current legal names and genders, so that these veterans are able to easily take advantage of and enjoy the same veterans' employment preference benefits, as well as medical, dependent, funeral, and other veterans' benefits, which are enjoyed by other military veterans.

     These forms are commonly required by federal agencies when veterans apply for benefits.  A veteran who is transgender may be uncomfortable explaining a gender and name change so that the veteran may have difficulty or even forego seeking veterans' benefits.  Additionally, if transgender status is shared, a veteran may experience discrimination based on that status, or be denied benefits altogether because of discrepancies in current documents and the information on a DD Form 214.

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