NH Gender Identity – About every other week, I find myself in the drive-through with my 8 year-old in the back, ordering the “regular,” a 6-piece chicken nugget kids meal. We have the order down pat – sweet and sour sauce, check, chocolate milk, check, yogurt, check (but usually not eaten). The one variable is the toy. The speaker garbles “boy toy or girl toy?” I crank my neck to the back repeating “boy toy or girl toy?” The child hesitates, aware of what is expected and deciding whether to choose the expected or go with the alternative option. Our fast food visits are mundane reminders that “gender” is inextricably tied to societal expectations.
New Hampshire’s New “Transgender” Protection
With the anticipated enactment of New Hampshire HB 1319, however, it seems New Hampshire is recognizing not only gender expectations, and those who do not conform, but also protections for these persons from discrimination in: the workplace, in businesses, and in housing.
Once signed by the Governor, the bill will amend New Hampshire’s “Law Against Discrimination” (codified at RSA 354-A) which currently reads: “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.” HB 1319 will add “gender identity” to the list of protected qualities.
Prohibited “Gender Identity” Discrimination
The bill also helpfully adds to RSA 354-A a definition for “gender identity”: “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.” The definition goes on to explain that “gender-related identity may be shown [proven for the purpose of obtaining protection] 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.”
My little one, who consistently chooses race cars or dolls in the drive-through, will be protected in choosing. I’m loving it.