HB 1319 which passed the New Hampshire Senate, bans anti-transgender discrimination. This marks a stunning move by the majority Republican legislature. Could the state’s Republican governor who is expected to sign HB 1319 into law, trying to do damage control with the LGBTQ community due to the Trump administration’s anti-LGBTQ agenda?

HB 1319 passed the state Senate Wednesday with the final vote being 14-10, with four Republicans joining the chamber’s 10 Democrats in support. The state’s majority Republican house approved HB 1319 in April with a bipartisan vote of 195-129. According to the bill, the law will protect employment, housing and public accommodations.

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“I am supported by the anti-discrimination passed into law many years ago,” said openly gay Republican Sen. Dan Innis, during the debate on the bill. “Am I better than the transgender people here? No, I am not, absolutely not. So let’s give them the same protections I enjoy.” said Innis.

Naturally you had opponents of HB 1319 and they came with their talking points argument that the public accommodations provision would allow transgenders to harass women and girls in restrooms or locker rooms. While there has never been a case of any Transgender person harassing women or girls in a restroom or a locker room, one would wonder why they continue to push this narrative.

Senator William Gannon during the debate said….“I believe that other people have an interest here, a privacy right that this bill is going to infringe on the privacy of my three young daughters in their locker room, my wife in her gym.” said Gannon.

According to Gov. Chris Sununu’s office, he is set to sign the HB 1319 over the next few weeks and I personally hope that it will be a photo-op and not simply signing the bill in the govenor’s mansion.

Once Gov. Sununu signs HB 1319, the bill will become law 30 days later which will then make New Hampshire the 19th state to pass legislation banning Transgender discrimination.

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National field director Marty Rouse of the Human Rights Campaign issued the following statement on the historic legislation: “No person should be fired, evicted, or denied service just because of who they are, and it is far beyond time that New Hampshire’s nondiscrimination protections include transgender people. Fair-minded people across the Granite State support these protections and recognize the importance of making New Hampshire an inclusive and welcoming state for all. Inclusive nondiscrimination protections are now one step closer to becoming law, and we urge Governor Sununu to continue this momentum by signing HB 1319.”

Zeke Stokes, vice president of programs at GLAAD issued the following statement on HB 1319: “New Hampshire’s leaders are demonstrating that nondiscrimination protection is not — and should never be — a partisan issue. From Alaska to New Hampshire Republicans and Democrats are coming together to support all people. Gov. Sununu has said he is inclined to sign the measure, and it’s critical that he do so in order to ensure that everyone in New Hampshire has access to the same freedoms and protections under law.”

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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