Parental rights and religious freedom activists in New Hampshire are battling a bill that would allow any male claiming to identify as a female to walk into and use girls’ and women’s restrooms, showers and other public facilities.
H.B. 478, which purports to prohibit “discrimination based on gender identity,” currently has 11 co-sponsors, including eight Democrats and three Republicans. State Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R) is one of the co-sponsors.
The bill would add “gender identity” to the list of specially protected classes of individuals. It defines “gender identity” as “a person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that … is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth.”
Cornerstone, a pro-family advocacy group in N.H., says the bill, which is scheduled to go before the full state House next week, is “bad policy that prioritizes the feelings of one group over the serious safety and privacy concerns of thousands of New Hampshire women and girls as well as the constitutional rights of every New Hampshire citizen.”
Cornerstone lists the bill’s potential consequences:
- Any male would have access to women’s and girl’s bathrooms, locker rooms, changing rooms, and any other place where women and girls deserve safe, protected spaces.
- Safeguards for women and girls would be stripped away, increasing the risk of sexual assault, voyeurism, and privacy violation.
- Parents would be stripped of their rights and can no longer insist that their children’s privacy be respected at school.
- Churches and other religious organizations would be forced to comply with radical gender ideology.
- Women’s shelters would be forced to house and employ men who “identify as women,” regardless of the feelings of the victims of abuse housed at the shelter.
According to the Union Leader, support for the bill is based in part on a survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality in Washington, D.C., which states that more than half of the 225 trans people living in New Hampshire surveyed avoided using a public restroom “because they were afraid of confrontations or other problems they might experience.”
The population of New Hampshire is roughly 1.35 million, including roughly 190,000 K-12 students.
Rep. Edward Butler (D), the primary sponsor of the bill, says the measure is not a “bathroom bill,” but one that bans discrimination. “Hopefully we will be able to clearly communicate…this legislation is needed and will provide protections that the rest of New Hampshire citizens have and that our transgender community deserves,” he said.
According to the Union Leader, both the Business and Industry Association (BIA) and the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police support the bill.
“We don’t want to be on the wrong side of history here,” said David Juvet, senior vice president for public policy at BIA.
Dover Police Chief Anthony Colarusso Jr. said, “It just makes sense to us that everybody should be treated fairly and not be discriminated against regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
In North Carolina in 2016, the progressives who are pushing the gender-fluid ideology rallied many major companies, sports associations, and celebrities to discriminate against the state because of its broadly popular HB2 legislation, which defines “gender” as the sex designated on an individual’s birth certificate. The designation can be changed after a person undergoes medical procedures. The business boycott of the state intimidated business groups and helped Democrats to narrowly defeat the pro-business GOP Gov. Pat McCrory in the November election.
Since the election, GOP leaders, including Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, have protected the compromise HB2 legislation from continued Democratic efforts to blur legal distinctions between male and female.
In other states, including Texas, angry parents have beaten back many efforts by school officials to eliminate the biological distinctions between girls and boys. Students have also objected to the ideology and have walked out of schools when told they must share facilities with kids of the opposite sex.
In Washington D.C., Attorney General Jeff Sessions has reversed the justice department’s 2016 promotion of the gender-fluid ideology. In a pending Supreme Court lawsuit, Sessions is expected to argue for preservation of the biology-based legal distinction between male and female.
In the marketplace, the Target retail chain has lost $15 billion in investor value since it triggered a consumer boycott by supporting the pro-transgender campaign in April 2016.
Less than one-quarter of Americans support the “gender-identity” ideology pushed by gay activists and by former President Barack Obama. Policies associated with the ideology would allow transgender activists to sue single-sex institutions — such as sports leagues, public shower-rooms, and women’s shelters — until both biological sexes are viewed as interchangeable.
Since the presidential election last year, Obama has twice admitted that his unpopular transgender policy helped to defeat Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton.
A recent poll from Crux/Marist finds that majorities of Americans support the traditional concept of biological men using men’s restrooms and biological women using women’s restrooms. Results of the poll show 66 percent do not think “someone who is transitioning to become the opposite sex” should be permitted to use the restroom or locker room of whichever sex they choose.
A recent Rasmussen survey also found only 38 percent of Americans favor “allowing transgender students to use the bathrooms of the opposite biological sex.”
Another recent poll by a pro-transgender group at UCLA showed that only 23 percent of Americans think people should be allowed to switch their legal sex without any tests or approval by government agencies.
A Civitas poll conducted last April focused on younger children. Its results showed that only seven percent of 600 North Carolinians strongly supported a federal judge’s demand “ordering girls and boys in public middle schools to share locker rooms, bathroom, and shower facilities.” Of those surveyed, 72 percent strongly opposed the demand.