July 28, 2016 at 9:19 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
N.H. governor speaks to DNC LGBT Caucus

Maggie Wood Hassan, New Hampshire, gay news, Washington Blade

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan (Photo by Marc Nozell via Wikimedia)

PHILADELPHIA — New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan on Thursday said her opponent in her U.S. Senate race has “stood against the rights of LGBTQ Americans.”

Hassan told members of the Democratic National Committee’s LGBT Caucus that U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) supported a repeal of New Hampshire’s same-sex marriage law that took effect in 2010. She also noted that her Republican opponent opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and adoption rights for same-sex couples.

“As a senator, I will fight for policies to create a stronger, more inclusive society where all citizens are fully included in social, civic and economic life, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Hassan.

Hassan said she supports the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal civil rights law. She also noted she would back increased funding for HIV/AIDS research and “stand firmly against efforts to rollback” the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2015 decision in the Obergefell case that extended marriage rights to same-sex couples across the country.

“As a senator, I will stand with all LGBTQ Granite Staters and Americans in rejecting hate and discrimination and fighting for priorities that will move us towards an even more inclusive society,” said Hassan.

Gender identity not included in N.H. nondiscrimination law

Hassan on June 30 issued an executive order that bans discrimination in state government based on gender identity.

“By including gender identity and gender expression in our state’s anti-discrimination policy, New Hampshire is again making clear that we incorporate the talents and contributions of all citizens and that our state is a welcoming place where everyone has the opportunity to share in our high quality of life,” she said.

New Hampshire’s statewide nondiscrimination law includes sexual orientation, but not gender identity. Hassan cited last month’s massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., to make the point that “we must do” more to ensure “all LGBTQ Americans can live free, free from fear.”

“There is so much more to do,” she said.

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley and New Hampshire Executive Councilman Chris Pappas, who are both gay, were among those who attended Hassan’s speech.

Bisexual Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and former Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean are among those who also spoke to members of the party’s LGBT Caucus. The first-ever formal gathering of trans delegates to the Democratic National Convention took place before the meeting began at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan speaks at a campaign event for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Manchester, N.H., on Feb. 5, 2016. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan speaks at a campaign event for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Manchester, N.H., on Feb. 5, 2016. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

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

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