Nondiscrimination Bill in NH Could Succeed and Needs Help

If you believe that I should have the same employment protections under the law that you do, please call your legislators.

How to contact your NH legislators.

Today, I called my legislators.

Here in New Hampshire, there is an important bill which will be voted on in the House sometime in the next nine days. It is HB478, which would add “gender identity” to RSA 354-A, which is New Hampshire’s nondiscrimination law. Already included in the law are “age, sex, race, creed, color, marital status, familial status, physical or mental disability or national origin”.

Last Tuesday, I went down to the hearing on this bill, with the House Health, Human Services & Elderly Affairs Committee. We packed the room until it was standing room only and overflowed into the hall. I stayed all day and took notes. More on that in a later post.

A couple of days later, we heard that the Committee voted 15-2 to recommend that the bill be passed by the House. With an endorsement like that, the bill has a solid chance for success in the house. One legislator I talked to described their current view of the bill as “cautiously optimistic”.

Which sounds really good until you remember that the attitude of a lot of people in this country toward the prospect that Donald Trump would not be our next president could have been described as “cautiously optimistic”.

So now is not the time to sit back. Please, please call your legislators in the NH House.

How to contact your NH legislators.

If you believe that employers and landlords should not be able to discriminate against trans people and gender nonconforming people, please call your legislators.

If you believe that I should have the same employment protections under the law that you do, please call your legislators.

And spread the word. Be willing to be a little impolite. Be willing to bring it up at dinner.

Seriously. New Hampshire is the only New England state that doesn’t already do this. I live here and work here. For twenty-one years I worked long hours, midnights, blizzards, and crime scenes with dead bodies, all to keep the people in my community as safe as I could keep you.

For me, there is no explicit protection under the law. I protected you and yours for over two decades. Please do this, now, to protect me and mine.

In posts in the coming days, I’ll talk in more detail about this law and the treatment trans people receive. This is the short version:

It’s not about bathrooms, in the same way that it was never about drinking fountains.

Please contact your legislators and spread the word.

How to contact your NH legislators.

Thank you.

Grace

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