Governor’s New Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion Will Address Discrimination Against Transgender Granite Staters December 14, 2017

Governor Chris Sununu announced this morning he would create an 18-person advisory council charged with investigating ways to combat discrimination, including discrimination against transgender Granite Staters. Attorney General Gordon MacDonald also announced the creation of a Civil Rights Unit within the NH Department of Justice.

The proclamation creating the new Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion states that it will “Identify and recommend ways in which the State can support local and community efforts … to combat discrimination and advance diversity and inclusion.” It also notes that the Council can recommend changes to the “scope of duties of the Commission for Human Rights.”

During a press conference announcing the new Council, Governor Sununu made clear that the it would not focus only on discrimination covered currently by New Hampshire’s Law Against Discrimination—which does not protect transgender people—but take a look at the issue more broadly, mentioning anti-transgender discrimination specifically.

The new head of the Civil Rights Unit, Elizabeth Leahy, also included anti-transgender discrimination and violence in the list of issues her unit will address.

Linds Jakows, campaign manager for Freedom New Hampshire, applauded the Governor’s leadership and noted that the creation of this Council is an important step in ensuring the Granite State is welcoming to all.

“Transgender people are our neighbors, friends, coworkers, and family members. Now more than ever, it is critical that we ensure that all people—no matter who they are—are welcomed, valued, and safe in the communities they call home. We look forward to working with the Governor, the Attorney General, and other members of the Advisory Council to make the Granite State a place of freedom and opportunity for all.”

“Transgender people are our neighbors, friends, coworkers, and family members. Now more than ever, it is critical that we ensure that all people—no matter who they are—are welcomed, valued, and safe in the communities they call home. We look forward to working with the Governor, the Attorney General, and other members of the Advisory Council to make the Granite State a place of freedom and opportunity for all.” —Linds Jakows, Freedom NH Campaign Manager

The next step, of course, is passing House Bill 1319, known popularly as #TransBillNH, which has been officially filed for consideration during the 2018 legislative session. The creation today of an executive council  that is partially dedicated to stamping out anti-transgender discrimination is a huge burst of momentum that we can carry into next year.

Right now, New Hampshire does not explicitly protect transgender people from discrimination in the workplace, in accessing housing, or in public spaces like restaurants, shops, and doctors’ offices. HB 1319 would change that.

Updating the law is one more tool to help ensure that every person in our state— including those who are transgender—has the opportunity to earn a living, meet their obligations, provide for themselves and their families, and build a better life.

If you agree that everyone who lives in and visits New Hampshire should be able to live free—and that means free from discrimination—join our movement to ensure Granite Staters are protected from discrimination.