In the transgender community New Hampshire is mostly known as one of three states that have anti-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation, but not on the basis of gender identity (Wisconsin, New York).
On Thursday Gov. Maggie Hassan followed New York's Gov. Andrew Governor by utilizing the power of her office to do what she could. Gov. Hassan signed an executive order that bans discrimination in state government against transgender people,
Throughout our history, it has been clear time and again that we always grow stronger when we work to ensure the full inclusion of all citizens in our democracy, our economy and our communities. By making clear that gender identity and gender expression are protected in the State’s anti-discrimination policies, this Executive Order helps ensure that New Hampshire state government welcomes and incorporates the talents and contributions of all of our citizens.
The executive order also requires the state’s Justice Department and Department of Administrative Service to review their contracts with the private sector to ensure they include protections against discrimination based on gender identity. The state’s Division of Personnel has until Sept. 15 to give guidance to agencies on how to roll out the new policy.
There is currently no federal law that prevents people from being fired or harassed on the job for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. A number of states have passed laws barring discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and at least 200 cities have passed similar ordinances. But in many states, it’s still legal to discriminate against LGBT people, not only in the workplace, but also in terms of access to credit, education, housing, federal financial assistance, jury service and public accommodations.
Hassan is currently running for US Senate against Kelly Ayotte.
This critically important step by Governor Hassan is critically important to protect thousands of transgender Granite Staters. We congratulate the Governor on her leadership and vision and her willingness to fight for a world where everyone including LGBTQ people, can live free from fear of discrimination.
--Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof, HRC
Transgender individuals are our neighbors, our friends and our co-workers. They are an intrinsic piece of the fabric of our state and deserve the same fair protections as everyone else.
--Christen Bustani, Transgender New Hampshire
While this is a tremendous step forward, it also highlights the ongoing need for explicit comprehensive protections for all transgender people across the state, in private as well as public employment, and in housing and public spaces as well.
--Janson Wu, GLAD