On Wednesday, the New Hampshire House of Representatives will vote on House Bill 478 (HB 478), AN ACT prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity. This controversial piece of legislation is being pushed by many out-of-state extreme left wing organizations. There are no cases that anyone has provided that show where any transgenders were discriminated against in the state of New Hampshire. Some are labeling this the “bathroom bill” because it will indeed allow men who identify as women into areas normally reserved for actual women and girls only.
The bill isn’t specific to transgenders. It speaks only of “gender identity.” The types of gender identities vary depending on who you ask but New York City recognizes 31 different genders in its anti-discrimination laws. It seems new genders are created all the time and the list is essentially “fluid.” New Hampshire’s legislation does not list specific gender identities. It would be up to individuals, employers and businesses to figure that out on their own apparently. From HB 478 [emphasis added]:
“Gender identity” means a person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth. Gender-related identity may be shown by providing evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held as part of a person’s core identity provided, however, that gender-related identity shall not be asserted for any improper purpose.
Wouldn’t it be a violation to demand someone show medical records to prove they are indeed receiving any type of treatment to alter their physical being to a different one? Does the legislature really think this type of “questioning” is going to happen on a regular basis? The ink on the lawsuit papers will still be wet long before anyone asks to see verifiable proof that someone truly believes they are a different gender. And what exactly does “any other evidence” even mean?
The current discrimination law in New Hampshire states the following:
This chapter shall be known as the “Law Against Discrimination.” It shall be deemed an exercise of the police power of the state for the protection of the public welfare, health and peace of the people of this state, and in fulfillment of the provisions of the constitution of this state concerning civil rights. The general court hereby finds and declares that practices of discrimination against any of its inhabitants because of age, sex, race, creed, color, marital status, familial status, physical or mental disability or national origin are a matter of state concern, that such discrimination not only threatens the rights and proper privileges of its inhabitants but menaces the institutions and foundation of a free democratic state and threatens the peace, order, health, safety and general welfare of the state and its inhabitants.
All of these protections are afforded to everyone in the state of New Hampshire. There are no special classes of people carved out and no special rights attributed to any specific group. Currently all discrimination laws apply to all people equally. HB 478 actually carves out and creates a special class of people. This legislation will only apply to this specific government-created class of people who will have protections and rights that cannot be applied equally by everyone.
Some proponents have stated that they want to pass this bill to be sure that transgenders have protections against discrimination in employment and housing. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), discrimination against people based on gender identity or sexual orientation indeed falls under the same prohibitions of sex discrimination that apply to all people. From the EEOC:
EEOC interprets and enforces Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination as forbidding any employment discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. These protections apply regardless of any contrary state or local laws.
The same goes for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). They too use the sex discrimination protections to apply federal protections against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. From HUD:
The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and familial status (i.e., presence of children under the age of 18 in the household or pregnancy). The Fair Housing Act does not specifically include sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited bases. However, discrimination against a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person may be covered by the Fair Housing Act if it is based on non-conformity with gender stereotypes.
Since these laws already protect transgenders from discrimination at the federal level, they are unnecessary in New Hampshire. Transgenders can use the same exact laws as everyone else to sue for discrimination.
When it comes to “public accommodations,” this legislation will indeed infringe upon the rights of women and girls. As many opponents often point out, women currently already use these areas with transgenders and it isn’t an issue. It is not transgenders that are the fear. There is already proof in other places where they have implemented these same laws that men use these laws to victimize women and girls – in bathrooms, locker rooms, women’s prisons, women’s shelters and elsewhere. The legislation will allow easier access for men to seek out their prey. Indeed, this is the biggest area of concern for many opponents. From HB 478:
It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any person, being the owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, superintendent, agent or employee of any place of public accommodation, because of the age, sex, gender identity, race, creed, color, marital status, physical or mental disability or national origin of any person, directly or indirectly, to refuse, withhold from or deny to such person any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges thereof; or, directly or indirectly, to publish, circulate, issue, display, post or mail any written or printed communication, notice or advertisement to the effect that any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any such place shall be refused, withheld from or denied to any person on account of age, sex, race, creed, color, marital status, physical or mental disability or national origin; or that the patronage or custom thereat of any person belonging to or purporting to be of any particular age, sex, race, creed, color, marital status, physical or mental disability or national origin is unwelcome, objectionable or acceptable, desired or solicited. In addition, no person shall be denied the benefit of the rights afforded by this section on account of that person’s sexual orientation.
This will apply to any business that provides services to the public. It will also include any private organizations that provide services to the public or hold public events. Women-only organizations could indeed be more easily sued under this law. Depending upon the judge in the case, they could be forced to accept men who identify as women, even in organizations that cater to women who have been traumatized or victimized by men. This has already happened. A transsexual sued a rape relief center in Canada because they refused to hire her due to her having actually been born a man. The case dragged on for years and the rape relief center actually won but what will happen in other cases with activist judges?
Then of course there are Title IX protections that currently protect girls and women in education. Even these laws have gone too far and have hurt boys and men’s sports in some cases but the law was put into place to make sure women and girls had the same opportunities as men and boys in education. Proponents of the bill say it doesn’t affect public education but indeed it would set a precedent and give a green light for more school boards like the one in Keene to allow boys who identify as girls to not only use girls’ facilities but compete in girls’ sports. From the Women’s Liberation Front:
Female sports were created separate from males as a way to give females a fair chance at competition, yet this basic facet of material reality is now being disregarded.
Title IX cannot create equity between the sexes in education by championing the rights of women and girls when it cannot legally distinguish males from females.
Many representatives in the house have stated that the majority of emails and calls they are receiving are against HB 478. This legislation is an affront to women and girls. It’s an affront to all Granite Staters because it creates a special class of people with rights only applicable to that said group. Not only is that unconstitutional but it’s anti-liberty. The fears of some opponents are indeed warranted. Men have been victimizing women and girls in sex-protected facilities for decades, this law will allow them easier access and women will just have to shut up and deal with it.
Women are being sent to the back of the bus and told their rights, the rights they worked decades to get from the men who were in power, no longer mean anything. Men who claim to be women will now have the protected rights of women and even more protected rights because they are being designated as a special class. This legislation is looking to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. It will create much, much bigger problems for women, girls, private businesses, women-only organizations and more.
Women’s and girls’ voices who oppose this legislation are being silenced. They are being told they are transphobic bigots for daring to protect and defend their own rights. This is the worst anti-women and anti-liberty bill to hit New Hampshire this session. Legislators should look at all the facts before making a decision based on emotions and feelings. Gender identity itself is based on feelings, not reality. Any legislation that creates a special class of people while infringing upon the rights of others is not legislation that should be supported or passed, by either party.