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Chris Christie Signs Bill Protecting Trans Students

transgender bathroom
Gerry Broome/AP

"This is a huge victory for equality in New Jersey."

Republican NJ Governor Chris Christie has signed a bill providing protections to transgender students. The action is one of several that Christie's office announced in a Friday press release--others included signing a bill upping the legal smoking ago from 18 to 21 and measures protecting the New Jersey natural climate.

The move specifically requires schools to provide for transgender students "reasonable alternative arrangements if needed to ensure a student's safety and comfort," as opposed to students to use the bathroom of their born sex, after the Trump administration struck down protections given to trans children under Obama.

"This is a huge victory for equality in New Jersey, and we want to send a big thank you to Governor Christie for standing on the right side of history on this one," said Garden State Equality in a statement on their site. "As he did with the conversion therapy ban, Governor Christie took a stand for LGBT youth in New Jersey by signing this important legislation, and he deserves our thanks."

New Jersey Democrats proposed the bill to help trans students, following Trump's actions to remove all bathroom rights from trans students. The legislation also allows students to dress in such a way as to reflect their preferred gender, and requires that schools provide identification labeling the student with their preferred gender. The bill also lets students participate in the gym class of their preferred gender, and requires confidentiality about pupils' gender identity among school staff.

Christian Fuscarino, head of Garden State Equality, tweeted this in reaction to the news:

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