HB 1319 is nearing its final legislative step, a vote on the Senate floor on Wednesday, May 2nd—one day before the Senate’s final voting day of the 2018 legislative session.
Advocates for updating New Hampshire law to explicitly protect transgender people from discrimination in housing, employment and public places are gathering at the State House outside the Senate chambers for three days of rallies during the final session days, on April 26th, May 2nd and May 3rd. Supporters are hoping this final gathering will be a victory rally.
HB 1319 heads to the Senate with unprecedented bipartisan support, including three Republican Senate co-sponsors: Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley and Senators John Reagan and Dan Innis.
It’s also drawn support from the from the legislative Children’s Caucus and House the Libertarian Caucus, which officially endorsed HB 1319 during one of two House Judiciary Committee hearings earlier this year.
But as HB 1319 gathers momentum, opposition to it is also becoming more desperate. Opponents are spreading insidious myths and misinformation in an effort to sabotage its broad support, claiming that protecting transgender people from discrimination in public places will somehow embolden “bathroom predators” or otherwise endanger women.
That’s completely false. As representatives from the NH Association of Chiefs of Police and the NH Women’s Foundation have pointed out repeatedly, 18 states and more than 200 cities and towns in the US have similar protections on the books, and have experienced no increase in public safety incidents.
Absolutely nothing in HB 1319 negatively impacts our ability to hold accountable someone who enters a locker room with the intent to harm or harass.
Ultimately, many of these concerns about restrooms and locker rooms boil down to some people’s discomfort at sharing spaces with transgender people. But discomfort is no reason to discriminate. Transgender people—like all of us—simple want to feel safe in the places where we all feel a bit vulnerable.
On March 7th, 2018 the New Hampshire House of Representatives passed HB 1319 by an overwhelming 195-129 majority after a recommendation from the House Judiciary Committee. We’re hoping the Senate will follow suit—and that Republican Governor Chris Sununu will follow through on his aforementioned support for HB 1319.
Help ensure HB 1319’s swift passage. Place a quick call to your senator’s office now.