Coalition Supporting #TransBillNH Gathers in Concord for Official HB 1319 Launch January 17, 2018

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.