Youth | Discrimination | New Hampshire
Does New Hampshire have an anti-discrimination law protecting gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals from discrimination?
Yes. New Hampshire’s law banning sexual orientation discrimination in employment, public accommodations and housing has been in effect since January 1, 1998 (Norma Love, “Senate Passes Gay Civil Rights; Shaheen to Sign it,” Foster’s Daily Democrat, May 7, 1997).
Does the law protect transgender people?
Does the law protect people perceived as being gay, lesbian, and bisexual?
Yes. New Hampshire non-discrimination law defines “sexual orientation” as “having or being perceived as having an orientation for heterosexuality, bisexuality or homosexuality” (NH RSA 354-A:2, XIV-c). While the courts have not ruled on the meaning of the “perceived” language, it should mean that if a person is fired because they are perceived to be gay, they may invoke the protection of the anti-discrimination law regardless of their actual orientation.
Does the New Hampshire anti-discrimination law also protect public school students?
Yes, New Hampshire law Section 354-A:27 states:
“No person shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in public schools because of their age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, marital status, familial status, disability, religion or national origin. . .”
For more information about the New Hampshire anti-discrimination law and how to file a discrimination complaint, see the “Discrimination” Issue Area.
Are there federal laws that protect students?
Yes, Title IX prohibits discrimination against students based on sex in any school or college that receives federal funds. In light of the Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, which determined that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination are forms of sex discrimination, the federal Department of Education, which enforces Title IX, has stated that it will interpret any sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination as sex discrimination.
To file a complaint with the federal Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, see: How to File a Discrimination Complaint with the Office for Civil Rights.
Complaints can be made to your school Title IX coordinator, as well as to:
Office of Civil Rights
The U.S. Department of Education
John W. McCormack Post Office & Courthouse, Room 222
Post Office Square
Boston, MA 02109
Additionally, some kinds of discrimination and harassment may violate a student’s constitutional rights.
What can I do if I’m being discriminated against or bullied at school?
There are many ways to approach the issue. One is to ask for support from a friend, teacher, or counselor and talk to the people who are bothering you. That is not an option, however, if you don’t feel safe doing so.
Take a look at your school policies and notify whoever is supposed to be notified— usually a vice principal or Title IX coordinator. You should document any incidents of harassment or discrimination in writing with at least the date and time. Once you meet with the right officials, write yourself notes about what you told them and on what date and ask when they will be getting back to you with a response. If they don’t help you or don’t follow through, you may wish to write to the principal and superintendent and ask for them to end the discrimination.
If this fails, you may also wish to consider legal action against the town by contacting the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights or the federal Department of Education Office of Civil Rights.
This is a complicated area of law as well as being emotionally challenging. Contact GLAD Answers by filling out the email form at GLAD Answers or by phone at 800-455-4523 (GLAD) to discuss options.
Does New Hampshire have a law that bans conversion therapy?
Yes, in 2018 New Hampshire passed N.H. Rev. Stat. § 332-L which prohibits any licensed mental health professional from performing conversion therapy on a minor.
State and national medical, mental health, and child welfare organizations all oppose the practice of conversion therapy, a practice that seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Extensive professional literature shows the practice to be both ineffective in changing sexual orientation or gender identity and harmful to youth. Young people who have been subjected to conversion therapy are at increased risk of depression, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts, and illegal drug use.
Under the law’s provisions, any licensed health professional who practices conversion therapy would be subject to discipline by the appropriate licensing agency.
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