June 30, 2016 at 6:49 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
N.H. governor bans anti-trans discrimination in state government

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan on June 30, 2016, issued an executive order banning anti-transgender discrimination in state government. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan on June 30, 2016, issued an executive order banning anti-transgender discrimination in state government. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan on Thursday issued an executive order that bans discrimination in state government based on gender identity.

The order applies to state employees and programs and government contracts.

“Throughout our history, it has been clear time and again that we always grow stronger when we work to ensure the full inclusion of all citizens in our democracy, our economy and our communities,” said Hassan in a statement. “By making clear that gender identity and gender expression are protected in the state’s anti-discrimination policies, this executive order helps ensure that New Hampshire state government welcomes and incorporates the talents and contributions of all of our citizens.”

“As we celebrate Pride month, this executive order reinforces that New Hampshire is a welcoming state where everyone has the opportunity to share in our high quality of life and economic success,” she added.

Gay state Rep. Ed Butler (D-Harts Location) is among those who applauded Hassan.

“Transgender individuals are our neighbors, our friends and our co-workers,” said Christen Bustani of Transgender New Hampshire in a press release that the Boston-based GLBTQ Advocates and Defenders issued. “TG-NH stands behind Gov. Hassan’s decision to create a non-discrimination policy for state government that is inclusive of transgender individuals. We thank the governor for being a leader for all Granite Staters.”

New Hampshire’s statewide nondiscrimination law includes sexual orientation, but not gender identity.

Hassan is running against incumbent U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) in November.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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