N.H. Families, Business & Community Leaders Hold Press Conference Opposing Assault on LGBTQ+ Health, Rights

N.H. Families, Business & Community Leaders Hold Press Conference Opposing Assault on LGBTQ+ Health, Rights

CONCORD, NH – This morning, Granite State families, health care providers, and community and business leaders gathered ahead of this week’s legislative session to call on lawmakers to oppose a series of bills threatening the health and rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and undermining New Hampshire values.

This session, more than 30 harmful bills have been introduced that would threaten the health and rights of LGBTQ+ individuals, their families, and our entire state. Some bills (HB 619, HB 1660) would restrict youth access to needed medical care, while others (HB 396, SB 562) would allow for discrimination of LGBTQ+ people in public places. Still others (SB 341) would force teachers to “out” their LGBTQ+ students; and others (SB 375, HB 1205) would ban transgender girls from playing on sports teams corresponding with their gender.

Several of these bills will go to a vote in the New Hampshire Senate this Thursday, April 4.

“From limiting inclusive athletic participation, or use of gender-aligning bathrooms, to bans on affirming health care and forced outing of students to their parents, these bills not only dehumanize our LGBTQ+ residents, but they also single out an already vulnerable population,” said Cassandra Sanchez, the Child Advocate for the State of New Hampshire. “In 2018, New Hampshire came together to pass anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ individuals. We cannot erode those protections.”

At the press conference, LGBTQ+ individuals and family members joined leaders from Waypoint, the N.H. Pediatric Society, and the N.H. Businesses for Social Responsibility, among others, to oppose these bills and support the rights of all New Hampshire children and families.

Willow Young, transgender woman and Granite State resident: “Laws based on uninformed understandings of ‘biological sex’ inherently target transgender, non-binary and intersex people. This is the state saying ‘if you don’t fit, you do not belong.’ This is not just discrimination; this is erasure.”

Erin George-Kelly, Director of Homeless Youth & Young Adult Services, Waypoint: “New Hampshire’s public schools need to be a safe space, especially when we know that LGBTQ+ youth are more likely to face neglect, abuse, or homelessness. ... Forcing youth to share things before they are ready only strips them of their basic rights to education, privacy, and possibly physical and emotional safety.”

Dr. Julie Kim, President, N.H. Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics: “As doctors, our focus is providing evidence-based, clinically-researched health care and responding to the needs of our patients. We should not have to shift our focus away from our patients and the care they need and deserve in response to elected officials inserting themselves into our exam rooms.”

Sara Tirrell, mother of Parker, a transgender girl and high school soccer player: “Contrary to stereotypes, Parker's journey as a transgender athlete has been marked by patience, perseverance, and gradual progression. ... Despite misconceptions, Parker's participation in girls' soccer isn't about dominance but rather about her love for the sport and the sense of belonging it provides in a world that too often seeks to marginalize her.

Michelle Veasey, Executive Director, N.H. Businesses for Social Responsibility: “Our businesses are constrained by the ability to grow our workforces. We need our leaders in Concord to stay laser-focused on the issues that hold our workforce back – the affordable housing and child care crises. … Spending time on legislation to limit freedoms is counter-productive and better spent on barriers to achieving prosperity for all. … In order to ensure our workplaces can continue to grow and innovate, we ask that you stop advancing anti-LGBTQ policies and focus on helping all people achieve their full potential.”

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