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NH House passes two bills attacking LGBTQ+ rights

On January 5th, The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted on four bills relating to LGBTQ+ rights, and for every bill, voted against protecting LGBTQ+ rights.

Two of the bills (HB 368 and HB 264), positive measures that would have streamlined affirmative birth certification and protected LGBTQ+ youth seeking certain health care in New Hampshire, failed.

The other two bills (HB 396 and HB 619), dangerous attacks on LGBTQ+ rights, passed and are being sent to the New Hampshire Senate. These two bills would undermine the right to equal protection under the law for LGBTQ+ people by giving a license to discriminate against and segregate LGBTQ+ people in schools and other settings, as well as make it more difficult for trans teenagers and their families to access appropriate health services supported by every major medical association.

LGBTQ+ rights, public education, and child welfare advocates reacted to the votes:

Linds Jakows, co-founder of 603 Equality, said, "Today's failure by the N.H. House to protect LGBTQ+ rights is a shameful beginning to 2024 in a state that has historically made overwhelmingly clear that it supports and respects LGBTQ+ identities. Trans kids and their families need to make private healthcare decisions that are best for them, and they shouldn't be discriminated against and segregated in schools, carceral settings, or other spaces. We will continue to fight to ensure the rights of LBGTQ+ people are not violated by these dangerous, discriminatory bills as they make their way through the legislative process. When today's anti-transgender bills get to Governor Sununu's desk, he should promptly veto them, because 'it's the right thing to do,' as he said when he signed New Hampshire's transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination law in 2018."

Courtney Reed, Policy Advocate at the ACLU of New Hampshire, said, "Today is an especially grim day in New Hampshire: one where, instead of listening to transgender Granite Staters, medical providers, and clear medical evidence, New Hampshire lawmakers voted against LGBTQ+ rights on four separate bills. The two bills passed today undermine the right to equal protection under the law for LGBTQ+ people — and we urge all State Senators to oppose these dangerous bills that raise serious constitutional concerns this legislative session. Our state has made clear time and again that LGBTQ+ people belong, and after today's shameful votes, it's more important than ever to make the message louder and more clear than before that the Granite State respects the rights of LGBTQ+ people—and that our rights are not up for debate."

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