LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in New Hampshire:
Since 1998, New Hampshire has protected people from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation. In 2018 the New Hampshire Legislature passed a bill to extend non-discrimination protections to transgender Granite Staters, and Republican Gov. Chris Sununu signed the bill into law on June 8, 2018.
The Campaign for LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in New Hampshire:
Freedom New Hampshire has led a broad, bipartisan coalition to update the state’s non-discrimination laws to protect transgender people. This effort includes leaders from across the Granite State who believe that no hardworking person in New Hampshire should have to live at risk of discrimination. In May 2018 the campaign triumphed when both chambers of the Republican-led legislature approved legislation expanding nondiscrimination protections to include transgender people.
The Latest on LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in New Hampshire:
In 2018 lawmakers New Hampshire considered legislation extending comprehensive non-discrimination protections to transgender Granite Staters – and on May 2, 2018, the Republican-controlled Senate voted 14-10 in favor of the bill. Republican Governor Chris Sununu, who confirmed almost immediately after the Senate vote that he would sign the legislation, signed the bill into law on June 8, 2018.
History of LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in New Hampshire:
- 1992: The New Hampshire legislature passes a law creating the New Hampshire Commission on Human rights. The aim of the Commission, according to the legislature is to prevent “discrimination against any of its inhabitants because of age, sex, race, creed, color, marital status, familial status, physical or mental disability or national origin.”
- 1992-1998: Local and national organizations engage in conversations about who LGBT people in New Hampshire, and support for comprehensive non-discrimination grows.
- 1994-1997: Bills to add sexual orientation to New Hampshire’s’s non-discrimination laws are brought before the legislature several times, but the bills continually stall.
- January 1, 1998: A comprehensive non-discrimination law takes effect in New Hampshire to protect residents from discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, and public accommodation. The New Hampshire Senate voted in favor of the legislation on May 6, 1997, following passage in the House. The bill was supported by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester and was signed into law by Governor Jeanne Shaheen on June 7, 1997, making New Hampshire the tenth state in the nation to ensure that non-discrimination laws include sexual orientation.
- April 2009: The New Hampshire House of Representatives votes in favor of a bill to add gender identity and expression to the list of classifications protected by the state’s non-discrimination laws. The bill is sent to the State Senate where, unfortunately, it is held in committee and fails.
- 2009-Present: Advocates in New Hampshire are continuing to work toward passage of an update to the state’s non-discrimination law to protect transgender residents from discrimination.
- November 18, 2016: Lawmakers in New Hampshire announce plans to introduce legislation expanding the state’s non-discrimination law to include protections based on gender identity in the 2017 legislative session. The bill does not pass, but the campaign kicks off a statewide conversation about the need to protect transgender people from discrimination.
- January 17, 2018: The Freedom New Hampshire coalition convenes with a bipartisan array of lawmakers in Concord to kick off the 2018 campaign to pass #TransBillNH.
- January 30, 2018: Republican Governor Chris Sununu tells reporters that he is ready to “move forward” on legislation to ensure that no transgender person in New Hampshire faces discrimination.
- March 7, 2018: #TransBillNH is approved by an overwhelming vote of 195-129 in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, advancing the legislation to the state Senate.
- May 2, 2018: The New Hampshire Senate votes in favor of #TransBillNH by a strong bipartisan vote of 14-10, sending the legislation to Governor Chris Sununu’s desk. Gov. Sununu confirms almost immediately that he intends to sign the bill into law.
- June 8, 2018: Republican Governor Chris Sununu signs #TransBillNH into law, turning it into #TransLawNH and making New Hampshire the 19th state with full LGBTQ protections.
Last Updated June 8, 2018
A July 2015 poll shows that an overwhelming 78% of voters in New Hampshire would support a federal law protecting LGBT people from discrimination in employment, housing, public, accommodations, credit, and education.