The bill received backing from some Republican representatives in both houses.
New Hampshire is set to become the first Republican-controlled state to begin protecting transgender rights. HB 1319 seeks to update the state’s law on discrimination by adding gender identity. This means that transgender people can’t be discriminated against in areas such as employment or housing.
The bill sailed through both legislative houses on a cross-party consensus. The bill passed the first legislative house by 195-129 and passed the second house by 14-10.
In the lower house, 47 Republicans joined the 145 Democrats and three Libertarians in voting the bill through, and in the upper house four Republicans joined the ten Democrats in passing the legislation.
A spokesperson for the state’s governor, Chris Sununu has confirmed that he plans to sign the bill into effect, and it is expected that he will do so in the coming weeks.
Linds Jakows, the campaign manager of Freedom New Hampshire, a bipartisan group that worked to pass the bill, said: “Today, New Hampshire lawmakers showed tremendous leadership in support of the transgender community and their loved ones.
“This law will go a long way to affirm the dignity of transgender people and allow them to truly live free.
“I want to especially thank my fellow transgender Granite Staters for their bravery and courage over the last few years – this victory would not have been possible without the voices of transgender people who have been telling their stories and educating lawmakers about the urgent need to make sure all Granite Staters are fully protected under the law.
“In a national landscape where transgender people are too often attacked for who they are, New Hampshire is a shining example for other states across the country. We look forward to the day Governor Sununu seals New Hampshire’s motto of Live Free or Die with his signature.”
Masen Davies, the CEO of Freedom for All Americans echoed these words, saying: “From coast to coast, the tides are turning toward freedom. New Hampshire’s transgender residents will rest easier tonight, knowing their elected leaders voted to affirm their dignity by passing comprehensive nondiscrimination protections.
“Earlier this month, voters from all walks of life upheld transgender equality in a historic vote at the ballot in Anchorage, Alaska.
“Today I’m overjoyed to see the conservative New Hampshire legislature pass a comprehensive nondiscrimination law that will make it that much easier for transgender Granite Staters to live their lives without fear.
“Freedom for All Americans is proud to have played a leadership role in both of these campaigns as we continue our work to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people nationwide.
“Our shared triumph in New Hampshire is yet another example that equality is not a partisan issue, but a human issue – and one that resonates deeply with the core values of Americans from all walks of life.”
New Hampshire joins a list of other U.S. states that are paving the way for LGBTQ equality recently. Prominent examples include the banning of gay ‘cure’ therapy for minors in many states like Nevada, Washington, Maryland and Hawaii.
Sadly however, not all U.S. states are making it easier for LGBTQ equality, as a bill recently passed in Oklahoma which made it legal for adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples from adopting if it goes against their religious views.