NH Mom Cheers Lawsuits Challenging Transgender Military Ban

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Community comes together for Rochester Pride

August 26, 2017 by admin
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Ban on Transgender Troops Moves from Reckless Twitter Announcement to Pentagon Policy

August 26, 2017 by admin

Last night, President Trump officially moved to put his reckless Twitter announcement into practice and ban transgender Americans from serving in the US Military.

This is an absolutely devastating development for transgender service members and their families. It’s the latest in a slew of devastating, anti-transgender attacks from the Trump Administration—attacks that just keep coming.

That means New Hampshire’s members of Congress need to step up. As the Pentagon gears up to implement this policy in six months, every single lawmaker in Washington D.C. must speak out forcefully and in support of our transgender troops!

Send a message to your members of Congress: Tell them to take action to protect transgender service members now.

The sad truth is, the anti-transgender forces behind today’s shameful policy change are determined to roll back every single federal non-discrimination protection for transgender Americans that we’ve fought for.

First, they reversed federal guidelines affirming protections for transgender students. Now, they’re threatening the livelihood of thousands of transgender heroes.

And trust me, they won’t stop there—because this is about so much more than just the military. Those working against transgender freedom at the federal level, and those who oppose #TransBillNH, have one goal: Make it harder for transgender people to participate in public life.

There has NEVER been a more urgent moment for members of Congress to speak up and take action—the lives and livelihoods of transgender service members are on the line.

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BREAKING: Trump bans transgender service members

August 25, 2017 by admin

CONCORD, N.H. — Late this evening, President Donald Trump issued a guidance banning transgender individuals from serving in the Armed Forces, and allowing the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security to restrict the duties of already enlisted transgender service members.

The guidance also prohibits the military from funding desperately needed medical care for current transgender service members.

Linds Jakows, campaign manager for Freedom New Hampshire, released the following statement regarding the discriminatory ban:

“The commander-in-chief should be doing everything he can to support our service members, not discriminate against them. President Trump’s directive does nothing to increase the safety of our nation, nor the effectiveness of our Armed Forces. Instead, it harms those brave Americans, and their families, who put their lives on the line for our freedom and security.”

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Join Us on Saturday for Rochester Pride

August 25, 2017 by admin

Pride Month has passed—but that doesn’t mean Pride celebrations in the Granite State are over.

Rochester Pride is actually this Saturday, August 26th, from 1–4PM in Central Square, and it couldn’t come at a better time, considering that in less than 30 days New Hampshire lawmakers will start laying legislative plans for 2018. Sign up for an hour-long tabling shift any time from 1–4 PM and help us do this important work!

That means we need to grow grassroots support for #TransBillNH—fast. And Pride celebrations are the best possible way for us to reach the critical mass of Granite Staters whose support we’ll need to advance the bill next year.

We need to make sure everyone who comes by our table at Rochester Pride on Saturday is encouraged to support #TransBillNH and join our movement to pass it. Plus, this is a perfect opportunity if you haven’t yet had the chance to volunteer with Freedom New Hampshire.

The bottom line from the last legislative session was that we just didn’t have a majority of lawmakers on board. But we also saw how responsive they are to constituent pressure—and that means helping us grow our grassroots power at events like Pride is the most important thing we can do to advance #TransBillNH in 2018.

 

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Big Victory for Transgender Texans and Allies as Special Session Ends with No Movement on Discriminatory Bills

August 16, 2017 by admin

Our allies in Texas are celebrating a big victory today against a slew of anti-transgender bills, and in New Hampshire, we’re celebrating right along with them.

Since the Texas Legislature convened in January, the state’s own Lieutenant Governor, Dan Patrick, has been saying that passing a “bathroom ban” that would prohibit transgender people from using public facilities was his top legislative priority.

A massive coalition of progressive advocacy organizations from across a range of issues—LGBTQ advocacy, women’s rights, immigrants and labor rights, and more—as well as business groups successfully fended off this legislation during the regular session that ended in May.

But anti-LGBTQ extremists weren’t about to let their banner issue go, so they pressured the Governor into calling a special session, and threw everything they had at this last-ditch attempt to target transgender Texans for discrimination.  

So the same coalition of fair-minded Texans—including more than 50,000 grassroots supporters—sprang into action again, playing defense day after day as one anti-transgender bill would fall only for another to start gaining traction in its place.

Yesterday, that tireless defense paid off in a spectacular fashion, as the Legislature abruptly gaveled out a full day early without passing a “bathroom ban” and with no immediate plans to renew the fight, though advocates are already preparing for the issue to rear its head during next year’s legislative session.

What this strong, dedicated coalition has been able to do in Texas this year is nothing short of amazing, and we hope it gives everyone working to advance #TransBillNH a burst of inspiration as we turn our attention to our own legislative session.

Texas and New Hampshire couldn’t be more different. Texas is one of the most socially conservative states in the nation, where lawmakers frequently claim they’re interested in small government but push relentlessly to target LGBTQ people and others with big government overreach.

In New Hampshire, on the other hand, we value small government—and we mean it. We value the ability of people to live free and be treated fairly, and that includes living free from the threat of discrimination. If a majority of Texans and Texas lawmakers can reject anti-transgender discrimination, surely we can too—by passing #TransBillNH.

The first day for lawmakers to file bills is October 12th, and we’ll be working every day until then to ensure that our coalition—and the support from lawmakers—is strong and growing.

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New Palm Center Report Calculates the Cost of Discharging Thousands of Transgender Servicemembers at Nearly $1 Billion

August 10, 2017 by admin

President Donald Trump’s reckless Twitter announcement two weeks ago that he would reinstate the ban on allowing transgender Americans to serve in the military is already wreaking havoc on the lives of transgender troops and their families.

Now, a new report from the Palm Center shows that it could also wreak havoc on the nation’s finances.

According to the report, the total cost of discharging the estimated 15,000 transgender Americans who currently serve our country with distinction would top $960 million—just  to enforce discrimination.

When President Trump tweeted that he would reinstate the ban, he focused on cost, specifically the “tremendous medical costs” supposedly incurred by providing transgender service members with the health care they are entitled to as a thanks for their service and sacrifice.

But the Palm Center also estimates the current cost of transition-related health care is only $8.4 million, or a mere $656 per person per year. That’s because, contrary to the President’s assertion, many transgender soldiers do not require transition-related medical once they’re in the military.

The Palm Center report arrives at this figure by taking into account financial data from the Blue Ribbon Commission and the Government Accountability Office, which both studied the cost of discharging servicemembers under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy from the mid-’90s through the late 2000s. These studies found that the Defense Department spent much more to hire and train new servicemembers than it would have if LGBT servicemembers had not been discharged prematurely.

It’s clear from this report that, contrary to the President’s claims, discharging thousands of transgender servicemembers will put a greater financial burden on our armed forces, not less. And this report doesn’t even scratch the surface of the cost of litigation that is likely to mount from this wildly unorthodox implementation of personnel policy—the first of which is already being brought against the Trump Administration by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).

Bottom line: Discriminating against transgender service members by firing them and prohibiting them from enlisting in the U.S. Military poses huge and unnecessary financial burden. Now, transgender troops could face the financial burden of being jobless and cut off from healthcare and other benefits. Meanwhile, the country is slapped with the unwieldy financial burden of having to replace some 15,000 transgender troops seemingly overnight.

But the truth is, the was never about costs. This is about discrimination. And it must stop.

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Taking the Trump Transgender Military Ban to Court

August 10, 2017 by admin
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Senator-Elect Cavanaugh supports transgender nondiscrimination

August 2, 2017 by admin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 2, 2017
Owen Loftus | [email protected]freedomforallamericans.org | 719-406-6564
www.FreedomNewHampshire.org

CONCORD, N.H. — Transgender advocates have a new ally in the New Hampshire State Senate: Senator-Elect Kevin Cavanaugh. The Manchester Democrat, who recently won his seat in a special election, believes that all Granite Staters should be treated fairly and equally, including transgender individuals and their families.

“Everyone who lives, works or visits our state should be protected from discrimination,” Cavanaugh said. “I am proud to stand with the state’s business leaders, both large and small, as well as public safety officials, and working families to extend nondiscrimination protections for transgender residents in housing, employment and public services.”

To date, organizations such as the state’s Business and Industry Association, Chiefs of Police Association and more have publicly advocated for legislation to update the state’s nondiscrimination laws to protect transgender people in the state from discrimination in housing, employment and public services.

In March, leadership in the state House of Representatives blocked debate on House Bill 478, a measure that would have extended these important protections to all transgender individuals in the state. An earlier committee supported the measure with an overwhelming, 15 – 2 bipartisan majority.

“Preventing discrimination in New Hampshire will make our state safer, more welcoming and will boost our economy,” Linds Jakows, campaign manager of Freedom New Hampshire, said. “Freedom New Hampshire looks forward to working with leaders in all parties to ensure transgender people can live, work and visit New Hampshire without having to fear discrimination.”

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Hundreds Of Granite Staters Rally In Support of Transgender Non-Discrimination In The Wake Of National Attacks

August 1, 2017 by admin

Last weekend, hundreds of people gathered at Victory Park in Manchester for the Transgender Equality Rally organized by Rights & Democracy’s Transgender Organizing & Leadership Development (TOLD) project.

The rally came only days after the federal government signaled it would further backtrack on its obligation to protecting LGBT people from discrimination.

On July 26th, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to announce his intention to reinstate the US Military’s ban on transgender service members. The Justice Department also released a legal brief that day opposing several high court decisions that protect gay, lesbian and bisexual people from employment discrimination.

Rally attendee and US Navy veteran Rachel Booth, who has previously shared her story as a transgender woman with Freedom New Hampshire, said the tweets had effectively “sent all of our brave transgender soldiers, sailors and airmen back into their closets once again feeling like second-class citizens living in a country that doesn’t want them.”

This news infused Saturday’s rally with a deep feeling of urgency and gave organizers a chance to underscore the need for the state of New Hampshire to take action to advance transgender non-discrimination protections as the federal government ramps up attacks on freedoms of the LGBT community.

Local advocate Gerri Cannon, who helped plan the rally along with other volunteers from Freedom New Hampshire and Rights & Democracy, said having this much energy and optimism around the issue of transgender rights was new for her.

“I’ve never seen this before in New Hampshire. We felt good about being in the space that day, and about our longer-term plan for New Hampshire to invest in the LGBT community.” —Gerri Cannon

“I’ve never seen this before in New Hampshire,” she said. “Overall, it went really well. We felt good about being in the space that day, and about our longer-term plan for New Hampshire to invest in the LGBT community.”

The first step in that plan is for the state legislature to pass #TransBillNH during the 2018 legislative session, for which the first day to file bills is October 12th. Grassroots organizers from Rights & Democracy and Freedom New Hampshire were thick on the the ground at the rally, making sure Granite Staters who care about equality were aware of the important legislative work that needs to be done in the upcoming year.

Rights & Democracy and the rally’s organizing committee are also working together to sketch out a legislative plan for pushing #TransBillNH forward over the next several months.

To stay up to date on this and other planning and events, sign Freedom New Hampshire’s pledge to support #TransBillNH.

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