New Hampshire Senator Ed Butler (D-Carroll District) is sponsoring a 2018 bill to include gender identity as part of the state’s anti-discrimination laws.
In the bill, HB 1319, "gender identity" is defined as "a person's gender-related identity, appearance or behavior”, regardless as to whether it differs from that traditionally associated with the person's physiology or assigned sex at birth.
The bill would apply to employment, housing and public accommodations.
Last year a similar bill did not make it past the New Hampshire House.
Transgender individuals deserve equal rights
Supporters contend that the bill would ensure the rights of all citizens, including transgender individuals, are protected equally under the law. They also argue that gender identity is not a choice, but a matter of biology.
New Hampshire is currently the only state in New England without a law that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity.
Current Discrimination Laws Already Protect the Transgender Community
Opponents counter that laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation are sufficient, since some courts have used such laws to protect transgender individuals. Opponents additionally question the idea that gender identity is not a choice.
Last year's bill also failed due to concern that it would empower male predators to enter women's bathrooms.
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