Nondiscrimination bill is a victory for New Hampshire transgender residents
CONCORD, N.H. — The New Hampshire House of Representatives passed HB 1319, legislation that would update the state’s laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing and public spaces to explicitly include the state’s transgender residents. HB 1319 was approved by a bipartisan vote of 195-129 and now heads to the New Hampshire Senate.
“Today’s bipartisan vote to pass HB 1319 demonstrates that New Hampshire is ready to truly become the Live Free or Die State. The House of Representatives just voted to move New Hampshire forward by updating our state’s laws to protect transgender people from discrimination,” said Linds Jakows, Freedom New Hampshire Campaign Manager. “Granite Staters from all walks of life have gotten the opportunity to meet their transgender neighbors and have come to understand that HB 1319 is about making sure that everyone has the opportunity to truly live free. We are so grateful to the bipartisan coalition of New Hampshire House members who voted to champion opportunity for all, and we urge the Senate to swiftly send HB 1319 to Governor Sununu’s desk.”
“Today the New Hampshire House took a strong stand for fairness and equality,” said Janson Wu, Executive Director of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). “This bill provides important protections that will make it possible for transgender people to live and work on equal terms with their neighbors. Granite Staters can be proud of this momentous step forward. We hope the Senate will act quickly to pass this measure, to bring New Hampshire in step with all other New England states when it comes to fair non-discrimination protections, and to ensure that everyone in New Hampshire can truly live freely.”
“Transgender Granite Staters ran a robust months-long campaign to educate legislators about who they are, and their efforts paid off today in a tremendous victory,” said Masen Davis, CEO of Freedom for All Americans. “This win took place because legislators met with their transgender constituents, listened to their stories, and understood the urgent need to ensure equal protections. In a federal landscape that has proven increasingly hostile to transgender Americans, New Hampshire has taken an important step forward to showcase their values of freedom and individual liberty for all.”
“Today the House passed common-sense legislation to ensure transgender people in our state are treated fairly and with dignity under the law,” said Devon Chaffee, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire. “It is passed time for New Hampshire to join the twenty other states nationwide, including all other states in New England, by explicitly including gender identity protections in our state’s non-discrimination protections.”
In addition to New Hampshire’s Republican governor Chris Sununu’s support, HB 1319 has been endorsed by the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police, the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation, House Libertarian Caucus, Children’s Legislative Caucus, and the New Hampshire Human Rights Commission.
The founding partners of the nonpartisan Freedom New Hampshire coalition include Freedom for All Americans, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire, Transgender New Hampshire, and Rights and Democracy New Hampshire.
Hundreds testified in support of HB 1319, providing over seven hours of testimony during two separate public hearings. The two-part Judiciary Committee hearing provided an opportunity for a diverse group of advocates to share their support for nondiscrimination protections.
Fewer than ten people testified against the bill.
HB 1319 will now move to the New Hampshire Senate for a full vote in the coming weeks.
Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation.
[From a News Release]