New Hampshire parents and educators call for veto of anti-LGBTQ bills / Public News Service

The New Hampshire Senate has introduced a series of bills that opponents say will limit protections for LGBTQ+ people.

The measures prohibit transgender girls from participating in sports events in middle and high school, prohibit transgender people from using gender-specific restrooms, and ban gender reassignment surgery on patients under 18.

Sarah Robinson, educational equity campaign director at Granite State Progress, called the bills discriminatory and cruel.

“LGBTQ+ people and those who know and love them are demanding a swift veto of these malicious bills based on misinformation,” Robinson stressed. “When we say 'Live Free or Die,' we mean everyone.”

Supporters said the bills are needed to ensure safety and fairness in both sports and public spaces, and to protect young people from making decisions they may regret. Gov. Chris Sununu said he shares the concerns but has not indicated whether he will sign the bills.

Another measure aims to limit teachers' ability to discuss issues related to gender identity or sexual orientation with their students. It would require teachers to communicate all related curriculum to parents two weeks in advance.

Deb Howes, president of the American Federation of Teachers in New Hampshire, said labeling these topics as “offensive material” harms students and weakens public education.

“This is critical for all of our Granite State students and all of our Granite State communities,” Howes said. “Because if we have less educated students, it's bad for our future.”

Howes added that the bills would also make it harder to retain and hire teachers as fewer people enter the profession. Others say allowing discrimination against transgender people will hurt the state's economy.

More than 200 businesses recently signed a letter to Governor Sununu warning him that bills targeting transgender youth will damage the state's reputation.

Disclosure: Granite State Progress Education Fund and Granite State Progress donate to our fund for coverage of budget policies and priorities, gun violence prevention, health issues and women's issues. To support news in the public interest, click here.

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