Bill Had Passed House of Representatives
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, issued the following statement regarding the New Hampshire state Senate's 24-0 vote yesterday that legislation updating existing anti-discrimination and hate crimes laws to cover gender identity or expression is "inexpedient to legislate". The Senate vote effectively kills the bill for the session. This legislation, which the House of Representatives passed earlier this month, sought to add gender identity and gender expression protections to the state's anti-discrimination statutes and to update state hate crimes law to ensure that perpetrators of hate crimes against transgender people are subject to the same extended sentencing terms as perpetrators of hate crimes based on other prohibited bases, such as race, religion, sex and sexual orientation.
"The New Hampshire Senate's decision not to endorse basic legal protections for transgender people is distressing, to say the least," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "This is essential legislation simply aimed at making sure that everyone in New Hampshire receives equal protection under the law. Its goal is to ensure that people don't have to worry about losing their jobs or not finding employment at all simply because of who they are, that the law fully protects everyone against violent acts motivated by hate."
Solmonese continued: "I know that a number of organizations and activists, including GLAD and PFLAG New Hampshire, worked hard to explain to legislators what it means for someone to lose their job because they are transgender and to have no legal recourse, no way to remedy the discrimination they faced. Unfortunately, the debate was steered way off course by false claims and vicious distortions, baseless suggestions that this was a "bathroom bill" that would somehow make restrooms unsafe. It is incredibly demeaning to reduce peoples' basic human rights in this way. This legislation isn't about the bathroom, it's about equal treatment in the workforce, equal rights for all in New Hampshire. We will keep working to make sure that real peoples' stories are told and that laws across the country are updated to make clear that discrimination against transgender people is wrong."
In February, HRC Associate Director of Diversity Allyson Robinson testified before a House Committee in support of the transgender non-discrimination and hate crimes legislation. HRC also activated members to contact their legislators, asking them to support this legislation.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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