This week should be a momentous one for proponents of HB 1319, which would update New Hampshire’s existing non-discrimination law to ensure explicit protections for transgender people in employment, housing and public spaces like restaurants and hospitals.
Advocates will converge on Concord during three expected House sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with a main rally to be held Wednesday morning, when the House is expected to take up HB 1319. The House schedule is tentative, however, and vote could come a day earlier or later.
Grassroots activity is also heating up. Two volunteer action nights scheduled for Monday, March 5 in Windham and Durham will focus on making calls and reaching out to personal networks of constituents whose representatives may be wavering on supporting HB 1319. Though support inside and outside the State House is overwhelming, the final vote count is still uncertain.
HB 1319 now has 12 Republican cosponsors from throughout the state, as well as endorsements from the House Libertarian caucus and the bipartisan legislative Children’s Caucus.
Other endorsers include law enforcement organizations and individuals like the New Hampshire Chiefs of Police, Dover Police Chief Anthony Colarusso and Cheshire County Sheriff Eli Rivera; businesses and business groups like Eastern Bank and the Business and Industry Association; and civil rights and public safety groups like the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation, the New Hampshire Human Commission on Human Rights, and New Hampshire Legal Assistance.
It is this breadth and depth of support that led the House Judiciary Committee to recommend 10-8 that the bill ‘Ought to Pass.’ Now it’s up to the full House to similarly affirm these long-overdue updates to our non-discrimination law, and send HB 1319 to the Senate.