Thursday, March 08, 2018

Good News From New Hampshire!

All the New England states except New Hampshire have protections for us and now that may change, New Hampshire is about to join its sister states.
House bill to assure equal treatment of transgender people passes
Union Leader
By Dave Solomon March 7, 2018

CONCORD — Proponents of a bill that adds gender identity to the state’s civil rights statute cheered loudly from the House gallery on Wednesday, as representatives voted to guarantee transgender people protection against discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations.

“Fear-mongering about public bathrooms and locker rooms is a smoke screen,” said Rep. Ed Butler, D-Hart’s Location, the lead sponsor of HB 1319, which now moves on to the Senate after a 195-to-129 bipartisan victory in the House.


“Nothing in the bill changes the fact that it is illegal to assault a woman or man in a public bathroom or locker room,” he said.

Wednesday’s vote caps a two-year battle by supporters to get a bill through the House. Butler was the lead sponsor of last year’s transgender rights bill, which died on the table after losing a 187-179 House vote.

Butler predicted a different outcome this time around, and he was proven right. He expressed the hope that the bill will eventually be signed into law, allowing New Hampshire to join 18 states and 200 municipalities that have approved gender identity protections.
Of course the opposition is shouting that this is a “Bathroom bill” and as the article says, they are using fear-mongering to rally the opposition.
“We’ve been told this bill is not about bathrooms or locker rooms,” said Rep. Mark Pearson, R-Hampstead. “But when we asked for additional language that exempts these places, we got loud and emotional blowback … To say, ‘Get over your fears’ is not a compassionate response.”

Those fears were expressed by Rep. Al Baldasaro, R-Londonderry. “Does this open up the door to showers where a male who says he is a female is able to take a shower with my granddaughters who have not had the operation,” he said. “Where is the protection for parents?”
The governor, a Republican, has said he will sign the bill if it gets to his desk.
Gov. Chris Sununu has indicated his willingness to sign HB 1319 into law if it passes the Senate. The vote in the House drew 48 Republicans to join all Democrats present in support of the measure.

The bill was endorsed by the state Business and Industry Association, Women’s Foundation, Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and Association of Chiefs of Police.
In the past not even the bill sponsors voted for the bill but that all has changed, why?

I think it is because they have laid the groundwork for the bill. One thing that I have learned from what I have done over the last eleven years… you have to have other organizations backing you up. We cannot do it alone; we need to form coalitions. You need to talk to legislators long before the bill is introduced to educate them.

I hope that New Hampshire joins it six sisters in passing a law to ban discrimination against us, and I also hope that the will also include public accommodations.

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