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NH Adds Gender Identity to Anti- Discrimination Bill

By Kelsey Davis; News Editor
On February 23, 2017

NH Adds Gender Identity to Anti-Discrimination Bill 

 

Kelsey Davis

News Editor

kldavis3@plymouth.edu 

On Feb. 21, the New Hampshire House weighed a bill that would prevent discrimination against transgenders, and those who do not identify as a specific gender. If passed, New Hampshire would join 20 other states who have anti-discrimination laws in place to protect transgendered citizens. The bill has bipartisan support.

The state already has anti-discrimination laws in place based on race, age, religion, sex, mental or physical ability, marital or familial status, country of origin, and sexual orientation. The state’s Committee on Human Rights has fought on transgender discrimination cases since 1988, despite it not being part of the law.

The proposed bill has a lot of support from both political parties, as well as many religious leaders, police chiefs, doctors, and NH’s Business and Industry Association.

There is some opposition however. 

Those who are against the bill say that they would fear for their safety, citing the protests against the “bathroom bills” in states like South Carolina.

“I would be too frightened to use a public bathroom if I knew there could be a man there,” said NH resident Beth Scare.

Supporters of the bill say that these fears are unfounded. The bill has criteria which lays out how a person can prove their gender identity, which includes providing medical history and proof that the gender they identify as is a core part of their identity.

It is unclear as to when the House is set to vote on the proposed bill, but those spearheading the movement are optimistic on its passing.

 

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