Transgender civil rights bill draws crowd at State House

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Transgender Rights Bill Draws a Crowd at the N.H. Statehouse

January 31, 2018 by admin
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Freedom New Hampshire Responds to Governor Sununu’s Support for Transgender Nondiscrimination Bill

January 30, 2018 by admin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 30, 2018
Contact:
Linds Jakows, Freedom New Hampshire Campaign Manager
(602) 989-3283, [email protected]

Barbara MacLeod
(207) 752-0484, [email protected]

Freedom New Hampshire Responds to Governor Sununu’s Support for Transgender Nondiscrimination Bill

CONCORD, N.H. —Governor Chris Sununu is ready to see transgender Granite Staters protected from discrimination in New Hampshire, sharing his support for transgender nondiscrimination protections in a conversation with Dave Solomon of the Union Leader. The bipartisan HB 1319 will provide protections for transgender Granite Staters in employment, access to housing, and public spaces like restaurants, shops, and government buildings. The House Judiciary Committee will hear HB 1319 tomorrow, January 31st, following a rally hosted by Freedom New Hampshire.

According to Solomon, “Sununu threw his support behind efforts to guarantee transgender civil rights protections in employment, housing and public accommodations.” He quoted the Governor as saying, “I’m inclined to move forward with it.”

“We applaud Governor Sununu’s leadership and recognition that transgender Granite Staters deserve the opportunity to work hard and provide for their families like anyone else,” said Linds Jakows, Campaign Manager for Freedom New Hampshire. “The momentum is undeniable – it’s past time to provide nondiscrimination protections for our transgender friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family members. We hope Governor Sununu will continue to move New Hampshire forward and send a message that our state is open to all, including transgender people and their families.”

This is not the first time Governor Sununu has weighed in on the issue of transgender freedom. He came out in opposition to President Trump’s now infamous tweet banning transgender troops from serving in the military, saying, “I think that anyone who is willing to stand up and fight for this country should have the ability to do so.” Governor Sununu also established a Civil RIghts Unit at the New Hampshire Department of Justice in December 2017, specifically referencing the need to address discrimination against transgender people in New Hampshire.

“We know transgender freedom is still a new issue for many of us,” added Jakows. “What we see time and again is that as Granite Staters get the opportunity to meet their transgender neighbors, they come to understand that HB 1319 is about nothing more than giving everyone – including transgender people – the opportunity to truly live free. Support for transgender freedom has grown by leaps and bounds over the last several years, and we ask Governor Sununu and the New Hampshire legislature to support HB 1319 and do all they can to make New Hampshire the Live Free or Die state for all.”

Supporters of nondiscrimination legislation in New Hampshire will host a rally tomorrow, Wednesday, January 31 from 10:30am-11:30am in front of the Legislative Office Building just before the House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on HB 1319 at 1:00pm. HB 1319 will update the existing nondiscrimination law by providing protections for transgender Granite Staters in employment, access to housing, and public spaces like restaurants, shops, and government buildings. The rally will include a news conference at 11:00am featuring business leaders, legislators, people of faith, and transgender citizens and their families before they provide testimony to the Judiciary Committee. All spokespersons will be available for media following the rally.

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BREAKING: Governor Sununu is Ready to “Move Forward” on Protecting Transgender Granite Staters from Discrimination

January 30, 2018 by admin

BIG news from Governor Chris Sununu.

In a conversation with Union Leader reporter Dave Solomon, the Governor indicated that he supports updating New Hampshire law to better protect transgender people from discrimination.

He told Solomon that he hasn’t “seen the final bill, so I don’t want to be too committal. But yes, I’m inclined to move forward with it.”

“I haven’t seen the final bill, so I don’t want to be too committal. But yes, I’m inclined to move forward with it.” — Gov. Chris Sununu, in the New Hampshire Union Leader

This is a fantastic burst of momentum for #TransBillNH (HB 1319), one day before the legislation sees its first hearing of 2018 in the House Judiciary Committee.

Linds Jakows, Freedom New Hampshire’s campaign manager, praised the Governor’s comments as such, saying that the Governor’s comments could not come at a more critical time for our current effort to update New Hampshire’s Law Against Discrimination.

“We applaud Governor Sununu’s leadership and recognition that transgender Granite Staters deserve the opportunity to work hard and provide for their families like anyone else. We hope Governor Sununu will continue to move New Hampshire forward and send a message that our state is open to all, including transgender people and their families.”

“We hope Governor Sununu will continue to move New Hampshire forward and send a message that our state is open to all, including transgender people and their families.” — Linds Jakows, Freedom NH Campaign Manager

Governor Sununu has spoken out before on issues impacting the freedom and dignity of transgender Granite Staters.

He was quick to oppose President Donald Trump’s infamous tweet banning transgender people from serving in the US Military, saying “I think that anyone who is willing to stand up and fight for this country should have the ability to do so.”

And in December 2017, Governor Sununu specifically referenced the need to address discrimination against transgender people in New Hampshire when he created an executive advisory council and NH DOJ Civil Rights Unit charged with investigating and combatting discrimination.

Every day, more government, community and business leaders are lining up behind #TransBillNH. Clearly, it is past time to ensure these critical protections for transgender people are written into state law. If you agree, sign our pledge to support HB 1319, then RSVP to join us at 10:30 on Wednesday, 1/31 for a pre-hearing rally.

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Momentum Heading Into Hearing Week: An Open Letter from #TransBillNH Co-Sponsor & GOP Rep. Erin Hennessey

January 30, 2018 by admin

This year, a record number of lawmakers have stepped up to support #TransBillNH (HB 1319).

Now, #TransBillNH faces a make-or-break hearing in the Judiciary Committee this week, which is why the bill’s supporters are speaking out louder than ever before. And today, one of HB 1319’s most prominent co-sponsors, Rep. Erin Hennessey, released a letter urging her colleagues to support these long-overdue protections.

Read the full letter below:

I was disappointed last year when 187 of my colleagues voted to table #TransBillNH — including too many of my fellow Republicans.

Protecting transgender Granite Staters from discrimination is an issue that bridges the partisan divide, and this year we’re seeing that, as more and more Republicans are signing on to co-sponsor HB 1319, including some who voted to table last year’s bill.

As someone who supported #TransBillNH last year, and is co-sponsoring it this year, I’m glad that more of my colleagues are seeing it like I do: Simply put, it’s about ensuring fairness and freedom from discrimination for our transgender constituents.

This Wednesday, January 31, HB 1319 will face a critical hearing in the Judiciary Committee, and I’m confident lawmakers will hear that message of fairness. 

I’m supporting #TransBillNH because one of my core beliefs is that all people are created equal, and deserve to be treated that way. It’s also about being a good role model for my children, and showing them that the people of New Hampshire value fairness.

That’s my mission as a lawmaker: To ensure our laws treat people fairly.

Right now, they don’t. Our Law Against Discrimination does not protect transgender people the way it protects me and other Granite Staters, leaving them more likely to be fired from a job, evicted from their home, and harassed in public places like shops and hospitals, just because of who they are.

That’s just wrong — and our transgender friends and neighbors are counting on us to make it right. Speak up now: Sign the pledge of support for #TransBillNH.

Thank you,

Rep. Erin Hennessey
Grafton, District 1

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Major Endorsers List Expands to Double Digits in Runup to #TransBillNH’s First Committee Hearing of 2018

January 25, 2018 by admin

In the first weeks of the legislative session, the list of official endorsements of HB 1319 (known to advocates as #TransBillNH) has expanded to include 10 organizations with major state and regional influence. That’s in addition to the dozens of other community groups and thousands of individual Granite Staters who are on our side.

One major new endorsement is New Hampshire Legal Assistance, which provides civil legal aid to low-income Granite Staters. They are the second organization that specifically focuses on legal protections to endorse #TransBillNH; the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights threw its weight behind #TransBillNH last year.

Both endorsements show that explicit non-discrimination protections for transgender people would provide legal organizations with the clarity they need to properly investigate cases of discrimination and serve clients. In fact, former Commissioners know from experience that there are gaps in the law when it comes to gender identity discrimination — that’s why passing this explicit update is so important.

Katharine Daly, who served as the Commission’s Executive Director from 1999 to 2007, submitted a comment to lawmakers directly rebutting the argument that transgender people are already protected, saying that’s flat-out false. While some transgender people who’ve suffered from discrimination may have alternative claims, as Daly explains, ”[d]iscrimination based on gender identity really is based on its own set of circumstances, fears, myths, misrepresentations, and lack of understanding, and it would be best served by recognition in the law as a separate category.”

Discrimination based on gender identity really is based on its own set of circumstances, fears, myths, misrepresentations, and lack of understanding, and it would be best served by recognition in the law as a separate category.” — Katharine Daly, fmr Executive Director, NH Commission on Human Rights

Another major new endorsement came at the very beginning of January, when the bipartisan Children’s Caucus became the first new endorser of the 2018 legislative session. And over the last week, HB 1319 has also received endorsements from the editorial boards of two of New Hampshire’s most widely distributed daily newspapers, the Portsmouth Herald and the Concord Monitor.

Organizations that are carrying over their endorsements from last year include businesses and economic groups like the Business and Industry Association, Eastern Bank and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, as well as public safety groups like the New Hampshire Chiefs of Police Association and the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation. One of New Hampshire’s largest unions, the SEA/SEIU-1984, has also stepped up by endorsing HB 1319 and hosting outreach events in communities across the Granite State.

This flurry of endorsements couldn’t come at a more critical time. HB 1319 will see its first hearing in the Judiciary Committee next Wednesday, and the momentum demonstrated by these new endorsements is something lawmakers should note.

If you’re a local nonprofit, advocacy, public safety or other community organization, add your name to say: It’s time to ensure fair treatment for transgender people under NH law.

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Capital Beat: Advocates look to second chance for gender identity bill

January 22, 2018 by admin
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Coalition Supporting #TransBillNH Gathers in Concord for Official HB 1319 Launch

January 17, 2018 by admin

Today, a bipartisan coalition working to protect transgender people in New Hampshire officially announced the introduction of HB 1319, which would update our state’s current non-discrimination laws. The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing for the bill on January 31 at 1pm, signaling strong momentum for the legislation.

Freedom New Hampshire, the coalition of business leaders, faith voices, law enforcement and anti-violence voices and more, has been working for over a year to gain support for comprehensive non-discrimination legislation to protect transgender Granite Staters. We’ve worked hard to build our coalitions and to introduce thousands of people to their transgender friends and neighbors.

Today’s press conference saw a variety of speakers across the business and political landscape lending their support to HB 1319, including the bill’s lead sponsor, Representative Ed Butler.

“We’ve always valued freedom and opportunity here in New Hampshire,” said Butler. “HB 1319 isn’t about creating new or special protections for anyone – it’s simply about updating our state’s laws so that our transgender friends and loved ones have the same protections as everyone else. Our state is at its strongest when we’re all free to work hard, earn a decent living, and go about our lives without fear of discrimination. That’s all HB 1319 is about.”

Sarah Mattson Duston, Director of Policy at the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation, said in part:

“Transgender people face disproportionate rates of discrimination, harassment, and violence in all areas of their lives. Transgender women are women, and like all women, we want them to be safe, to have equal opportunity, and to be treated fairly.”

Also speaking were newly elected Somersworth School Board Member Gerri Cannon, the first openly transgender person to be elected to public office in the state; David Juvet, Senior Vice President of Public Policy for the New Hampshire Business and Industry Association; and Jessica MacFadzen, a transgender New Hampshire State Police dispatcher who transitioned on the job.

HB 1319 is sponsored by Ed Butler and co-sponsored by 14 of his fellow Representatives and Senators, including 12 Republicans. Similar legislation passed out of the House Health and Human Services committee in 2017 by a vote of 15-2, but was tabled before it could receive a vote on the House floor.  

Visit our Facebook and Twitter feeds to see more photos and footage from today’s press conference.

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Freedom New Hampshire Announces Widespread Support for Transgender Nondiscrimination Bill

January 17, 2018 by admin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Contact:
Linds Jakows, Freedom New Hampshire Campaign Manager
(602) 989-3283[email protected]

Barbara MacLeod
(207) 752-0484[email protected]

Freedom New Hampshire Announces Widespread Support for Transgender Nondiscrimination Bill

Advocates note momentum behind efforts to pass historic legislation

CONCORD, N.H. — A bipartisan coalition announced support today for HB 1319, a bill to provide protections for transgender Granite Staters in employment, access to housing, and public spaces like restaurants, shops, and government buildings. The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing date for HB 1319 on January 31, 2018 at 1 PM, signaling strong momentum behind this landmark legislation.

Freedom New Hampshire is a coalition of businesses large and small, law enforcement, anti-violence advocates, faith leaders, and transgender residents and their families working to introduce Granite Staters to their transgender neighbors and to make the case for equal opportunity and freedom from discrimination. Advocates gathered at the State House Legislative Office Building for a news conference today, January 17. Live video feed can be viewed here.

“We’ve always valued freedom and opportunity here in New Hampshire,” said the bill’s lead sponsor Representative Ed Butler (D-Hart’s Location). “HB 1319 isn’t about creating new or special protections for anyone – it’s simply about updating our state’s laws so that our transgender friends and loved ones have the same protections as everyone else. Our state is at its strongest when we’re all free to work hard, earn a decent living, and go about our lives without fear of discrimination. That’s all HB 1319 is about.”

“The Business and Industry Association is constantly seeking new ways to make New Hampshire more competitive and make it the best place in the nation to live, work, and raise a family. In our view, transgender freedom is an issue of economic competitiveness,” said David Juvet, Senior Vice President of Public Policy for the New Hampshire Business and Industry Association. “New Hampshire has a significant workforce shortage. We believe that our legislature should do all it can to position the state as being welcome to all, including those who are transgender.”

“At the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation we take women’s safety and privacy very seriously. Nothing in HB 1319 would change the fact that it is already illegal to threaten or assault a woman in a public bathroom,” said Sarah Mattson Dustin, Director of Policy at the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation. “Transgender people face disproportionate rates of discrimination, harassment, and violence in all areas of their lives. Transgender women are women, and like all women, we want them to be safe, to have equal opportunity, and to be treated fairly. That is what HB 1319 offers.”

“I’ve worked for the New Hampshire State Police for 27 years, and I enlisted in the Air Force at the age of 17,” said Jessica MacFadzen, a transgender New Hampshire State Police dispatcher who transitioned on the job. “I’ve been proud to serve my country and my community, and I’m so proud that the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police has fully endorsed HB 1319 to protect transgender Granite Staters like me from discrimination.”

HB 1319 is sponsored by Representative Ed Butler (D-Hart’s Location) and cosponsored by 14 of his fellow Representatives and Senators. Rep. Butler is joined by 12 Republican cosponsors, demonstrating strong bipartisan support for this measure. This same legislation (then HB 478) passed the House Health and Human Services Committee in 2017 by an overwhelming margin of 15-2. It was then tabled by House leadership before a full floor vote took place.

The upcoming Judiciary Committee hearing will provide an opportunity for a diverse group of advocates to share their support for nondiscrimination protections. HB 1319 has been endorsed by some of New Hampshire’s leading business, public safety and women’s rights groups, most notably the Business and Industry Association, the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation, the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, and the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police.

Representatives Ed Butler, Renny Cushing, and Erin Hennessy joined advocates with Freedom New Hampshire at the Legislative Office Building on January 17, 2018.

Jess MacFadzen, a New Hampshire State Police dispatcher and Air Force Veteran, shared her story as a transgender woman in New Hampshire.

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NH lawmakers get another shot at transgender anti-discrimination bill

January 16, 2018 by admin
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Mark Your Calendars: #TransBillNH Has A Hearing Date!

January 11, 2018 by admin

Two big news items for #TransBillNH today.

First, HB 1319 has been scheduled for a hearing in the Judiciary Committee at 1PM on Wednesday, January 31.  

This year, like last year, we’ll need show our grassroots strength during the hearing. If you’re interested in being in the room to help show lawmakers that Granite Staters want fairness for our transgender neighbors and friends, RSVP and share why you support #TransBillNH.

Second, we’re having a major kickoff event on Wednesday, January 17 at 12PM to celebrate the momentum our bill has picked up so far, and to announce its official introduction for consideration during the 2018 legislative session.

Confirmed speakers for that event are:

Support for this bill has been broad, bipartisan, and unprecedented. Last year, a Republican-led committee recommended our bill overwhelmingly to the full House. Unfortunately, the House didn’t pass it — but a bipartisan group of 179 lawmakers stood with us, the first time such a bill has advanced in a Republican-led legislature.

This year, HB 1319 has received influential endorsements from the legislative Children’s Caucus and the editorial board of the Portsmouth Herald. And Governor Sununu has created an advisory council to tackle discrimination, including anti-transgender discrimination.

Clearly, 2018 is the year that we can pass #TransBillNH — but we need everyone working together to do that. Join us at the committee hearing on January 31st and show that you’re with us!

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January 17: News Conference on Transgender Nondiscrimination Bill

January 11, 2018 by admin

FOR PLANNING PURPOSES

Thursday, January 11, 2018
Contact: Barbara MacLeod, (207) 752-0484, [email protected]
www.FreedomNewHampshire.org

NH’s BIA, Women’s Foundation, and others will discuss support for nondiscrimination protections for transgender Granite Staters

CONCORD, N.H. — Freedom New Hampshire will host a news conference at the Legislative Office Building on Wednesday, January 17 at 12:00pm to announce the filing of HB 1319. This bipartisan legislation would ensure transgender Granite Staters are protected from discrimination in employment, access to housing, and public spaces like restaurants, shops, and government buildings. Details below:

WHO: Business leaders, women’s and anti-violence advocates, legislators, and transgender citizens and their families.
WHAT: News conference to announce the filing of the bipartisan HB 1319 to protect transgender Granite Staters from discrimination in employment, housing, and public spaces.
WHERE: New Hampshire State Capitol, Legislative Office Building, 33 N State St, Concord, NH 03301
WHEN: Wednesday, January 17, 12:00pm EST

Confirmed speakers include:

###

 

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