Ending Conversion Therapy in New Hampshire
Following the passage of HB 1661 in the New Hampshire House, GLAD Executive Director Janson Wu is presenting testimony April 5 before the state Senate Committee on Health and Human Services in support of a statewide ban on so-called "conversion therapy" with minors. Read his senate committee testimony here.
Wu previously testified February 2, 2016 before the New Hampshire General Court Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee in support of HB 1661, which would ban the practice. The bill passed the New Hampshire House on March 23, 2016.
House Bill 1661 “prohibits persons licensed to provide professional counseling from engaging in the discredited and harmful practice of seeking to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”
“The imposition of 'conversion therapy,' especially on minors, is a remnant of our nation’s shameful history of oppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people," Wu says in his testimony. "Its premise is that homosexuality is abnormal behavior and a mental disorder that must be changed.”
The New Hampshire legislature has a proud history of eradicating discrimination against LGBT people as well as enacting laws that ensure the health, safety, and welfare of children. The passage of HB 1661 is a critical step necessary to further these goals.
GLAD is working to pass HB 1661 in coalition with PFLAG New Hampshire, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Human Rights Campaign, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Working for Transgender Non-Discrimination Protections in New Hampshire
Victory! The Portsmouth City Council passed this resolution on March 3 with a unanimous vote of 9-0! Read more
Portsmouth Herald/Seacoast Online: City Councilors Should Back Transgender Protections
GLAD has been working with local partners, including Transgender New Hampshire, to lay the building blocks to winning statewide gender identity non-discrimination protections in New Hampshire.
On March 3, Portsmouth has an opportunity to add a critical building block by being the first city in New Hampshire to provide crucial employment protections for transgender people.
Portsmouth city councilors will consider a proposal brought by Assistant Mayor Jim Splaine: A Resolution Directing the City Manager to Adopt a Policy of Non-Discrimination Regarding Transgender Municipal Employees and Supporting Statewide Anti-Discrimination Protections for Transgender Individuals.
New Hampshire residents can take action now to encourage the city council to ensure transgender people have the same opportunity as anyone else to get a job and contribute to their town. The resolution also sends the message that New Hampshire should join more than 200 municipalities, 17 states, and the District of Columbia in providing non-discrimination protections for transgender people in all areas of life.
Using this link New Hampshire residents can send a message to all Portsmouth city councilors urging them to support this important resolution. Sample language for your message is provided here, but it's always best to use your own words:
Subject: Transgender Non-Discrimination Resolution
I'm writing to urge your support of the resolution to protect transgender people from discrimination. Any person who applies for a job should be valued by their work ethic and not dismissed simply because of who they are. Transgender people pay taxes and make Portsmouth a more vibrant city; they should have the same opportunities as anyone else. This is a step in the right direction for Portsmouth, and will send the message that we need protections for transgender people in all of New Hampshire.
New Hampshire is the last state in New England to have no non-discrimination protections in place for transgender people.
Attorney Janson Wu Testifies in Support of Repealing New Hampshire Reverse Evasion Law
GLAD Attorney Janson Wu is testifying today in New Hampshire in support of Senate Bill 394, which would repeal the state’s reverse evasion law and clarify the state’s recognition of out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples.
An Act Relative to the Recognition of Out of State Marriages, Uniform Marriage Recognition, Civil Union Recognition, and Gender Neutral References would repeal New Hampshire's reverse evasion law, enacted in 1979, which prohibits a non-resident couple from marrying in New Hampshire if their marriage would be "void" or "prohibited" in their home state.
In his testimony, which can be read in full here, Wu statest that "reverse evasion statutes have proved not only discriminatory, but worthless and unnecessary decades ago," and further, "while we believe the statute is unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable, it's continued existence threatens the validity of many marriages of out-of-state couples who come to New Hampshire to marry."
SB 394 also provides that any New Hampshire couple that was married in another state (such as Massachusetts) will have their marriage recognized from the date of solemnization, makes clear that even if a couple entered into a civil union in another state, they can also get married in New Hampshire with out first having to dissolve the civil union, and clarifies that all domestic-relations related statutes should apply equally to families regardless of the gender of the two parties.
New Hampshire: Ask Senator Gregg to Support ENDA
On Thursday, November 5, the federal Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) will receive an important hearing in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Without passage of ENDA, no federal legislation explicitly prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg sits on the HELP committee, but has not yet declared his support for ENDA. Now is the time to contact Senator Gregg and let him know how crucial this legislation is for LGBT citizens in New Hampshire and across the U.S.
Call (202-224-3324) or email Senator Gregg today and remind him that no qualified employee should be denied workplace opportunities simply because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
For more information and talking points on ENDA, visit www.unitedenda.org
Why do we need an employment non discrimination act that includes sexual orientation and gender identity?
Watch this video:
NH Transgender Non-Discrimination Legislation Resources
Last week, the New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee dealt a blow to our community - they rejected the transgender non-discrimination bill by a vote of 5-0.
The Committee’s vote means that the bill will go to the full Senate for a vote this Wednesday, April 29, with a recommendation of “should not pass”.
We can still save the bill, if you do two things right now:
1) call or email your Senator and
2) write a letter to the editor of your local paper
When you call or write, please remain positive and encouraging. One by one, people come over to our side when we engage them in an open, constructive way.
GLAD has been working hard with allies and legislators to make sure that our stories are told and our voices are heard. We can turn this around - we’ve done it before, and we can do it again!
Please show that our community is strong and united, and that we won’t rest until we have full equality under the law.
Other ways to help:
Please call or send an email today, and help make New Hampshire a place where transgender people can work, go to school, and live in peace and safety. Your comment should focus on the need to provide equal rights and protections for transgender people in New Hampshire.
Phone calls are most effective to show your support, although personalized letters (signed and hand-addressed) and emails can also be effective. If you do send an email, please state your support of HB 415 directly in the subject line, and include your name, address, and town.
And then please ask everyone you know to do the same.
GLAD and PFLAG New Hampshire have put together a packet of information about HB 415. The packet contains basic facts about the legislation, talking points, information for contacting your legislator, and sample letters to ask your legislator to support the bill. GLAD has also created this short video with MassEquality and Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition about the severe discrimination and violence that transgender individuals face.
Watch the video Everyone Matters: Dignity and Safety for Transgender People
NH Marriage Equality Legislation Resources
The legislature took its final action to approve the marriage equality bill on May 6, and now it moves to Governor Lynch’s desk.
We congratulate the House and the Senate for listening to the majority of New Hampshire residents, who support full equality for the state’s gay and lesbian citizens. We thank the legislators who provided leadership, and the couples who courageously told their stories.
Now that the fate of marriage equality is in the governor’s hands, we hope he is listening, too. Please call him at (603) 271-2121 and urge him to take the side of history and fairness, and sign the bill. Please contact him today!
Concord Monitor: Editorial - Pass Gay Marriage Bill and End Discrimination
GLAD Testifies in Support of Marriage Equality in New Hampshire
GLAD Attorney Janson Wu appeared before the New Hampshire House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, February 5, 2009, in support of House Bill 436, “An Act Relating to Civil Marriage and Civil Unions.” Wu also presented testimony in opposition to House Bill 453, which seeks to take away the legal protections currently granted to same-sex couples by New Hampshire’s civil union law, and House Bill 147, which would forbid recognition as a civil union in New Hampshire of any legal marriage entered into by a same-sex couple in another state.
GLAD Testifies in Support of NH Transgender Equality Bill
GLAD Attorney Janson Wu testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, February 5, in support of House Bill 415, “An Act Adding Certain Terms Regarding Non-Discrimination To The Laws.” The bill would add “gender identity and expression” protections to New Hampshire’s non-discrimination statutes, including New Hampshire’s general anti-discrimination protections in employment, housing and public accommodations, and New Hampshire’s hate crimes law.
New Hampshire’s Civil Union Law
As of January 1, 2008, New Hampshire same-sex couples are able to enter into civil unions. If you are a New Hampshire resident and have questions on the new law, please contact GLAD’s Legal InfoLine.
Read GLAD’s publication: New Hampshire Civil Unions [PDF]
Read the NH State Insurance Department bulletin [PDF] on implementation of the civil union law
Read the article: N.H. Civil Unions: Legal Protections, Obligations, Pitfalls [PDF]
New Hampshire Rejects Anti-Marriage Equality Amendment
The New Hampshire House voted overwhelmingly to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. GLAD worked closely with New Hampshire Freedom to Marry to mobilize and educate citizens and legislators about the potential harms of such an amendment. Lawmakers voted 207-125 against the amendment, which would have defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
Testimony and Reports from the NH Commission on Civil Rights
Testimony and Reports from the NH Commission on the Civil Rights, Responsibilities, Laws and Legal Obligations Related to Same-Sex Unions
Entire Minority Report [pdf]
GLAD’s Testimony [pdf]
Professor Barbara Cox Testimony [pdf]
Dr. Marshall Forstein Testimony [pdf] and Attachments [pdf] [14 MB]
Dr. Ellen Perrin Testimony [pdf]
Economist Lee Badgett Testimony [pdf]
Professor Nancy Cott Testimony [pdf]
Steve Varnum Testimony [pdf]
Susan Hassan, Esq. Testimony [pdf]