Republican Gov. Chris Sununu says he plans to sign two pieces of legislation that have been lobbied for by transgender activists in New Hampshire.
The first, a bill (HB 1319) that ostensibly gives special protections to transgendered individuals in public housing and employment situations, will also allow any individuals who say they are women to use women’s and girls’ rest rooms in public places.
The second (HB 587) would ban therapists in New Hampshire from treating, in an unbiased, clinical manner, children who claim to be a gender that does not correspond to their biological sex, or who are suffering from unwanted attraction to the same sex.
Tomorrow is our campaign manager @LindsJakows's last day with Freedom New Hampshire. Take a moment today to thank them for their fearless advocacy for #TransBillNH! https://t.co/2gtKGODWbz pic.twitter.com/JSAROP14Kc
— Freedom NH (@FreedomNH_) May 30, 2018
The U.K.’s Gay Times celebrated that “New Hampshire is set to become the first Republican-controlled state to begin protecting transgender rights.”
Linds Jakows, the campaign manager of Freedom New Hampshire, a bipartisan group that worked to pass the pro-transgender legislation, said, according to the Gay Times, “Today, New Hampshire lawmakers showed tremendous leadership in support of the transgender community and their loved ones.”
“This law will go a long way to affirm the dignity of transgender people and allow them to truly live free,” Jakows added. “I want to especially thank my fellow transgender Granite Staters for their bravery and courage over the last few years – this victory would not have been possible without the voices of transgender people who have been telling their stories and educating lawmakers about the urgent need to make sure all Granite Staters are fully protected under the law.”
Our very own Emily Fishbaugh has been named one of @TheAdvocateMag's Champions of Pride! Emily has been a major voice in our movement to pass #TransBillNH, and we're so glad she's getting this recognition! https://t.co/7waXxD0YKP
— Freedom NH (@FreedomNH_) May 30, 2018
However, in a letter to the editor at the Union Leader, Shannon McGinley, executive director of Cornerstone Action, writes, “These bills, if signed, would infringe on the fundamental rights of New Hampshire citizens, and they would do severe harm to people simply trying to live out their faith.”
McGinley adds the therapy ban “signs away your child’s right to unbiased counseling,” and “puts licensed professionals on notice that they will lose their credentials if they display any sign of insufficient support for ‘gender reassignment’ or unwanted same-sex attraction for clients who are minors.”
“The bill would also effectively deny clients the right to set their own therapeutic goals, if those goals include resolution of unwanted same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria,” she continued.
Sununu – in his first term as governor – is expected to face a backlash from conservatives in the state.
“I think Sununu has apparently adopted a strategy to completely abandon the conservative elements of his party,” Free Stater Aaron Day told the Concord Monitor.
Day is considering a gubernatorial run as a conservative third-party candidate. Blamed by some Republicans for GOP incumbent U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s loss to Democrat Gov. Maggie Hassan in 2016, Day received nearly 18,000 votes.
According to the Monitor, Day said he will run as a Libertarian if he decides on a bid for the governor’s seat.
“I abandoned entirely the Republican Party,” he said. The question now is there an opportunity here with the Libertarian Party to start building an actual viable alternative. I’m trying to put together a plan and the resources to make sure that I can run a viable campaign.”
Republican state Rep. Al Baldasaro recently spoke out against Sununu’s intention to sign the legislation.
“I think he’s doing a great job, but why he’s catering to some of these issues that are going to affect everyday children who are playing sports and using locker-room and bathrooms,” he told the Concord Monitor. “I think it’s going to have a major effect. I’ve been warning him. I just got a text yesterday from one of my constituents saying they’re going to leave his name blank.”