Signing Off: The Campaign to Pass #TransLawNH Is Over, But the Movement for Transgender Freedom in NH Continues

On Thursday, June 14, advocates that had been working for months—and in some cases, years—for transgender rights in the Granite State gathered to celebrate a big victory: the passage of HB 1319, which updates state law to fully protect transgender people from discrimination on the job, in their homes and in public places like restaurants and retail shops. 

Revelers gave speeches, sang and added their signatures to a poster-sized copy of the bill, known formally as “An act prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity.” The poster will tour the state for parades and celebrations during Pride Month, and after that will hang in the ACLU of New Hampshire offices.

Governor Sununu signed HB 1319 on June 8th, and it will officially take effect 30 days later, on July 8th. This comes nearly a decade after the last serious push for such legislation, in 2009. That bill made it narrowly through the New Hampshire House of Representatives after two tries only to be rejected by the Senate.

Advocates started preparing again in late 2016 for another try. During the 2016-2017 session, the House of Representatives tabled an identical bill, HB 478. The legislation remained active, however, and was reintroduced as HB 1319 for the 2017-2018 session by Rep. Ed Buter, who also sponsored the legislation a decade ago.

Momentum for HB 1319 rose quickly. Building on a positive recommendation from the House HHS Committee in 2017, the House Judiciary Committee said it ‘Ought to Pass’ in February 2018, and the full House agreed in early March, passing HB 1319 195-129. The Senate agreed two months later, sending HB 1319 to Governor Sununu’s desk with a 14-10 vote on May 2, 2018.

Now that he has officially signed the bill, our campaign is officially over. But the movement to realize full transgender freedom in New Hampshire will continue. There are many issues left to tackle, and we want to know which of those you care about most, so we know how best to communicate with the community that’s come together around passing HB 1319.

Take our quick, 5-question survey and let us know what trans-specific issues you think are most pressing in the year ahead.

Some issues that are top-of-mind for our current Freedom New Hampshire team are:

  • Ensuring better health care access for transgender people
  • Making birth certificate gender markers more easily changeable
  • Organizing for more inclusive school board policies
  • Better educating the public about transgender issues
  • Improving conditions for transgender inmates

Our hardworking coalition member organizations—ACLU-NH, GLAD, FFAA, Rights & Democracy, PFLAG-NH and Transgender NH—will be taking the lead on many of these issues in the future, and depending on your interests you may be hearing from them in the future too.

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It’s Done: Governor Sununu Signs #TransBillNH!

June 8, 2018 by admin

Moments ago, Governor Sununu signed HB 1319 into law, saying once and for all that we will not tolerate discrimination against transgender people in the Granite State!

The law is scheduled to take effect 30 days from now, meaning from then on transgender Granite Staters will have the same protection from discrimination as everyone else at work, when looking for a place to live, or when they’re out in public.

New Hampshire is now the 19th state to ensure full and explicit nondiscrimination protections for all LGBT people—and the first to pass transgender-inclusive protections in a Republican-controlled state. But we’re sure we won’t be the last, because freedom and fairness are bipartisan values.

Take a moment to celebrate today, by doing two things:

Leave Governor Sununu a quick thank-you note that we’ll deliver to him.

Sign up to join us at our Community Signing Ceremony & Celebration in Concord on Thursday, June 14th at 6 PM.

After nearly a decade of speaking out, gathering allies and laying the legislative groundwork, it’s hard to believe we’re finally here. Over the last two years especially, transgender residents, their families, businesses large and small, law enforcement organizations, anti-violence advocates, civic leaders and faith leaders have worked so hard to make the case for freedom and fairness.

And in the end, fairness won.

But even though our campaign is over, it’s important not to let the community we’ve built fade away. All of us together are a powerful force for progress in the Granite State, and there is a lot more work to do when it comes to expanding freedom and opportunity for LGBT Granite Staters.

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Celebrate Passing #TransBillNH at Pride Events Across New Hampshire

June 1, 2018 by admin

Pride month officially starts today, and the first event of the season is Concord Pride, kicking off June 2nd at 2 PM on the State House lawn.

Our former campaign manager Linds Jakows will speak at Concord Pride at 3:30 pm about how we were able to move transgender freedom forward this year in New Hampshire. Other Pride events around the state include:

Saturday June 16th: Rural PRIDE 2018
12-4 PM
Visitors Center, City Planning Office
14 North St, Claremont, NH 03743
Facebook event

Saturday June 23: Portsmouth PRIDE 2018
12-11 PM
Portsmouth, NH
Location TBD, likely Strawbery Banke
Facebook event

Sunday June 24: Keene Pride! Rainbow Hair and T-shirts
11 AM-4 PM
Central Square, Keene NH
Facebook event

Saturday, June 30: Nashua Pride
2-5 PM
Main St., Nashua NH
Facebook event

Saturday August 25: Rochester NH Pride and Dance Party!
2-10 PM
Hanson St, Rochester NH
Facebook event

Hope to see you at Concord Pride, or a Pride celebration near you!

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