May 2, 2018
In a bipartisan 14-10 vote, the New Hampshire Senate today passed HB 1319, a bill that will provide explicit comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for transgender people in employment, housing, and public spaces. The House passed HB 1319 in March by a strong bipartisan vote and the bill now goes to Governor Sununu for his signature. Once the bill is signed into law, New Hampshire will join 18 other states, including every state in New England, in providing comprehensive protections for transgender people.
Janson Wu, Executive Director of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), one of the lead partners in the Freedom New Hampshire Coalition advocating to pass the bill, made the following statement:
Today, the New Hampshire Senate voted to affirm the dignity and humanity of transgender Granite Staters, and to ensure they have an equal opportunity to live and work free from discrimination. For more than a decade, transgender people across the state – along with family, friends, and freedom-loving allies – have spoken out, shared their stories, and led the fight to secure these critical protections. GLAD has been proud to be a partner in that work every step of the way.
We are grateful to the many senators and representatives, including HB 1319’s lead sponsor Rep. Ed Butler, who voted to make their state a safer and more just place for everyone. New Hampshire’s leadership today sets an example for the nation of the incredible progress bipartisan cooperation can achieve.
At a time when the rights of transgender people are under attack from the Trump-Pence administration on every front – from schools, to health care, to military service – this resounding victory in New Hampshire shows clearly that support for equality is not a partisan issue but a basic matter of American fairness. Voters in neighboring Massachusetts will soon have an opportunity to echo that fact, as the spotlight on transgender equality moves to the fight to protect the Bay State’s public accommodation nondiscrimination law at the ballot this November.
All Granite Staters can hold their heads high today, knowing that New Hampshire is truly embracing its ideals of freedom for all, and taking its place as a leader in the growing movement to secure equality across the nation.
Leading partners in the Freedom New Hampshire coalition fighting for HB 1319 include GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), Freedom for All Americans, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire (ACLU-NH), Human Rights Campaign, Transgender New Hampshire, and Rights and Democracy New Hampshire.