New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a law today forbidding state laws or rules to use the term “mentally retarded” to refer to those with intellectual disabilities. “This is making sure each citizen in our state is treated with the respect they deserve,” Christie said. “It’s their government too.” The legislation was championed by the Arc of New Jersey, an advocacy group that hopes to someday remove the word from casual use as well, the Star-Ledger reports.
“We’d like New Jersey to get to a place where you can’t use the ‘R’ word without it being inflammatory,” said one Arc executive. The bill also bans the use of terms like physically handicapped, feeble-minded, and physically defective … all of which currently appear in state laws and regulations.