28 NJ Towns Cited For Discrimination Against Nonbinary Residents
Dozens of New Jersey municipalities allegedly violated the state's Law Against Discrimination by excluding certain individuals who are trying to obtain marriage licenses.
Attorney General Matthew Platkin and the Division on Civil Rights announced on Wednesday that Notices of Violation have been issued to 28 municipalities with marriage license application forms on their websites that do not permit nonbinary people (those who do not identify exclusively as a man or a woman) to apply for marriage licenses unless they "misgender" themselves as male or female.
That practice is inconsistent with the marriage license applications currently published by the New Jersey Department of Health, which includes a third gender option for nonbinary applicants, officials say.
"The law in New Jersey is crystal clear. No one can be denied the fundamental right to marry based on their gender identity," said DCR Director Sundeep Iyer. "Municipalities have an obligation to ensure that they are not excluding LGBTQIA+ individuals from applying for marriage licenses."
With the notices, each municipality is told that their application violates the law and that such a violation could result in a fine of up to $10,000.
But the notices also contain an offer of settlement. A municipality can satisfy the state's request by updating its website to ensure equality, providing related training to all municipal employees, and remitting payment in lieu of a penalty, among other measures.
The Division on Civil Rights issued Notices of Violation to the following 28 municipalities:
- Carney's Point
- Chester Township
- Fair Haven
- Morris Plains
- Ocean Gate
- Old Bridge
- Raritan Borough
- Sussex Borough
- West Cape May