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Should NH add gender identity to state anti-discrimination laws?

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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.

Read more about gay and transgender rights in New Hampshire here.

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.

Should NH prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity? Leave a comment to join the discussion.


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Sex isn't assigned at birth, but at conception. It's even possible to determine children's sex while in the womb.

"A baby’s sex is determined at the time of conception. When the baby is conceived, a chromosome from the sperm cell, either X or Y, fuses with the X chromosome in the egg cell, determining whether the baby will be female (XX) or male (XY).[5] To be female, one needs to be (XX), whereas to be a male, (XY) is needed. It is the Y chromosome that is essential for the development of the male reproductive organs, and with no Y chromosome, an embryo will develop into a female. This is because of the presence of the sex determining region of the Y chromosome, also known as the SRY gene.[6]"

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