FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 30, 2018
Contact: Linds Jakows, Freedom New Hampshire Campaign Manager
(602) 989-3283, [email protected]
(207) 752-0484, [email protected]
CONCORD, N.H. — Freedom New Hampshire marks Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31st, an internationally recognized day dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide. The coalition is also deeply concerned at the recent release of President Trump’s plan to implement this discriminatory ban on transgender Americans in the military.
Linds Jakows, Campaign Manager for Freedom New Hampshire, released the following statement:
“The irony of celebrating Transgender Day of Visibility in New Hampshire is that living our lives openly might actually cost a transgender person like me their job. The good news is that 2018 may be the year that New Hampshire finally becomes the Live Free or Die State for all of us by updating our state’s laws to protect transgender people from discrimination.
“Unfortunately, the Trump Administration remains determined to target transgender people and recently issued policy guidelines aimed at implementing a ban on transgender service members in the military. A ban on transgender troops serving in our military is a signal that New Hampshire lawmakers must pass HB 1319 to protect transgender Granite Staters from harm. Now more than ever, we need our state elected leaders to not only say they are with us, but demonstrate through action that they are with us. This fight goes to the very core of who we are as Americans. While New Hampshire lawmakers may not be able to undo this attack on transgender American heroes, they can and should say clearly that here in New Hampshire, we will not tolerate unfair treatment of our transgender veterans, friends, and neighbors.
“It is heartwarming to see an outpouring of support for transgender freedom from communities across the whole state of New Hampshire. I’m so grateful that the New Hampshire House of Representatives recently voted to pass HB 1319 with strong bipartisan support. HB 1319 is about making sure that everyone has the opportunity to truly live free, including transgender Granite Staters. I am deeply grateful to the bipartisan coalition of New Hampshire House members who voted to champion opportunity for all, and I urge the Senate to swiftly send HB 1319 to the Governor’s desk.”
Republican Governor Chris Sununu has weighed in on the issue of transgender freedom several times, including sharing his support for HB 1319 in a conversation with Dave Solomon of the Union Leader. He also came out in opposition to President Trump’s now infamous tweet banning transgender troops from serving in the military, saying, “I think that anyone who is willing to stand up and fight for this country should have the ability to do so.” Governor Sununu established a Civil Rights Unit at the New Hampshire Department of Justice in December 2017, specifically referencing the need to address discrimination against transgender people in New Hampshire.
On March 7th, 2018 the New Hampshire House of Representatives passed HB 1319, legislation that would update the state’s laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing and public spaces to explicitly include the state’s transgender residents. The House voted 195-129, sending HB 1319 to the New Hampshire Senate with strong bipartisan support.
Hundreds testified in support of HB 1319, providing over seven hours of testimony during two separate public hearings. Fewer than a dozen people testified against the bill.