A coalition of national, state and local anti-sexual assault and domestic violence organizations, including several in New Hampshire, are standing squarely behind efforts to increase non-discrimination protections for transgender people.
This support comes as HB 1319—which would update New Hampshire law to explicitly protect transgender people from discrimination—heads for a Senate vote on Wednesday, May 2nd.
The recently released National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence statement renews its member organizations’ commitment to opposing anti-transgender initiatives and supporting transgender-inclusive non-discrimination protections.
The Task Force also called out those who would use false narratives about women’s safety to undermine support for these protections:
“Nondiscrimination laws do not allow men to go into women’s restrooms—period. The claim that allowing transgender people to use the facilities that match the gender they live every day allows men into women’s bathrooms or women into men’s is based either on a flawed understanding of what it means to be transgender or a misrepresentation of the law. …
Those who perpetuate falsehoods about transgender people and nondiscrimination laws are putting transgender people in harm’s way and making no one safer. We cannot stand by while the needs of survivors, both those who are transgender and those who are not, are obscured in order to push a political agenda that does nothing to serve and protect victims and potential victims.”
So far, the statement has more than 300 signatories, including the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (Concord), Turning Points Network (Claremont), YWCA NH (Manchester) and New Beginnings – Without Violence & Abuse (Laconia).
Groups that advocate for ending sexual and domestic violence are speaking up for these non-discrimination protections because they know transgender people—particularly transgender women—are disproportionately targeted for harassment and violence.
According to the US Transgender Survey, 47 percent of transgender people have experienced sexual violence in their lifetimes, while 54 percent have experienced intimate partner violence.
The Task Force ends their statement by noting that “we will only accomplish our goal of ending sexual violence by treating all people, including those who are transgender, with fairness and respect.”
The New Hampshire Senate has the opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to treating all people with respect this week by passing HB 1319, and ensuring that our Law Against Discrimination explicitly protects transgender people from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations.