NH House Defeats 2 Anti-LGBTQ Bills That Would Require Forced “Outing” of LGBTQ Students, Ban Trans Girls From Sports Participation With Other Girls

Advocates Celebrate Victory, Vow to Keep Up Momentum on Similar Bills In Coming Weeks

Today, the New Hampshire State House voted 185-176 to indefinitely postpone SB 341, which would have required heightened teacher surveillance and possible forced outing of students who are questioning or part of the LGBTQ community. The House also voted 200-154 to approve the House Education Committee’s recommendation of interim study to defeat SB 375, which would have banned transgender girls from participating on sports teams with other girls at both the high school and college level, effectively overturning the inclusive NH Interscholastic Athletic Association policy that has been in place since 2015.

Advocates released the following statements:

“Today, the NH House affirmed that transgender girls are girls, and should be welcomed into spaces with other girls, including sports teams,” said Linds Jakows, co-founder of 603 Equality.“Likewise, they again rejected a burdensome and overreaching requirement that teachers reveal their students’ gender and/or sexual orientation to their parents before they are ready, with no exceptions for students at risk of abuse or neglect. But we’re not out of the woods yet. Similar bills like HB 1205 and HB 1312 are heading to the Senate in the next few weeks. LGBTQ Granite Staters will rest easier when the Senate rejects those bills.” 

“An inclusive education applies to every part of the school experience, including sports,” said Sarah Robinson, Education Justice Director with Granite State Progress. “The House rejected this attempt to tell trans girls they do not belong with other girls, and likewise voted to continue to allow students to confide in trusted adults, as long as the student isn’t doing anything harmful to themselves or others. The Senate should follow the House’s example as they prepare to vote on two nearly identical bills.” 

“We are thrilled that the NH House has reaffirmed what we have been saying all along. ALL Granite State students have the right to feel safe, welcome and respected in our public schools,” said Deb Howes, President of the American Federation of Teachers – NH. “We strive to build classroom and school communities to help each student thrive and reach their full potential. We are counting on the NH House to be good partners and help with that. Today they did.”

Courtney Reed, Policy Advocate at the ACLU of New Hampshire, said, “We applaud the many lawmakers who listened to transgender Granite Staters, the medical community, educators, child welfare advocates, and civil rights advocates, and voted against two deeply harmful pieces of legislation. It is incumbent upon all of us to build communities that help trans people, especially trans youth, know they are loved, supported, and not alone–values that were made crystal clear once again today. We urge all state senators, representatives, and Governor Sununu to oppose all other anti-LGBTQ+ bills that will soon be up for votes and to put an immediate stop to them.”

“We are pleased the House voted down a ban on trans girls’ participation in sports” said Devan Quinn, Director of Policy at the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation.  “Trans girls are girls. And trans girls, like all girls, deserve to be accepted and included in schools and have access to the many benefits of sports including teamwork, friendship, and belonging. There are real issues we should be addressing in girls sports like a lack of adequate funding and resources. The vote today reflects the reality that student athletes are not asking us to ban their friends from playing sports with them. They, and we, say: Let trans girls play!”

“We are relieved that today the House voted on the side of protecting LGBTQ+ students, and affirmed the rights of all students (especially transgender girls) to get in the game,” said Heidi Carrington Heath, Executive Director of Seacoast Outright. “All we’ve been asking for is to allow our students access to the spaces, and places they need to thrive. Today, the house did just that.”

“NEA-New Hampshire applauds the House votes to reject two anti-LGBTQ+ bills that would have jeopardized educational opportunities for some of our most vulnerable youth,” said Megan Tuttle, President of NEA-New Hampshire. “Educators are committed to the success of every Granite State student; we will never stop fighting to ensure public schools are welcoming and safe learning environments for all students, regardless of their sexual orientation or

 gender identity.”

“By rejecting SB 341 and SB 375 today, the House voted to uphold the state’s responsibility to provide all New Hampshire young people with equal educational opportunities and a safe and affirming learning environment,” said Chris Erchull, Attorney at GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders. “We call on the Senate to act similarly when similar unworkable, extreme, and unlawful bills targeting LGBTQ+ students come before it in upcoming weeks.” 

“We are pleased that the House voted down two dangerous bills today. By voting down SB 341 and SB 375, they upheld students’ rights to privacy, a good education, and safety,” said Grace Murray, Political Director at NH Youth Movement. “We now urge the State Senate to also stand with young people and against discrimination when they vote on similar bills in the coming weeks. One thing is for certain, NH residents stand behind the LGBTQ+ community and we need our legislators to do the same.”