House Bill 1319, who openly gay state Rep. Ed Butler (D-Harts Location) introduced, passed by a 195-129 vote margin. Fifty-one Republicans also backed the measure.
Gerri Cannon, a transgender rights advocate who was elected to the Somersworth School Board last November, on her Facebook page praised the trans people who were “brave enough to share your painful stories with the House committees and the public.”
“All of us made the passing of HB 1319 in the New Hampshire House,” she added.
Linds Jakows, campaign manager for Freedom New Hampshire, which advocates for HB 1319, in a statement said Wednesday’s vote “demonstrates that New Hampshire is ready to truly become the Live Free or Die State.”
“The House of Representatives just voted to move New Hampshire forward by updating our state’s laws to protect transgender people from discrimination,” Jakows. “Granite Staters from all walks of life have gotten the opportunity to meet their transgender neighbors and have come to understand that HB 1319 is about making sure that everyone has the opportunity to truly live free. We are so grateful to the bipartisan coalition of New Hampshire House members who voted to champion opportunity for all.”
New Hampshire is the only New England state that does not include gender identity in its statewide nondiscrimination law.
The New Hampshire Senate will now consider HB 1319. Freedom New Hampshire and other advocate groups have urged Republican Gov. Chris Sununu to sign it into law.