New Hampshire Governor Issues Historic Executive Order Protecting Transgender State EmployeesBy Megan Clayton • June 30, 2016 • 3:17 pm
Today, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan issued an executive order protecting state employees and contractors from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression.
This executive order is historic – and affords much-needed protections to transgender state employees and contractors. While New Hampshire’s state law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, there are no protections for gender identity, meaning transgender people across the Granite State live in fear of discrimination. New Hampshire is one of three states – including New York and Wisconsin – that protect gay and lesbian residents but lack transgender protections.
Undoubtedly, today’s executive order signifies the most significant progress yet in protecting transgender Granite Staters under the law – and as Governor Hassan underscored in a statement released today, it makes it clear that New Hampshire is striving to be a state that is open for business to everyone:
“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. As we celebrate Pride Month, this Executive Order reinforces that New Hampshire is a welcoming state where everyone has the opportunity to share in our high quality of life and economic success.”
And across New Hampshire, advocates like Christen Bustani with Transgender New Hampshire (TG-NH) – a statewide transgender organizatio – are celebrating this important step forward:
“Transgender people are our family, our neighbors, and our coworkers. They make valuable contributions to our society and deserve the same fair protections as everyone else. We thank Governor Hassan for being a leader for all granite staters.”
Governor Hassan is the latest in a growing list of Governors across the country that have issued executive orders to protect LGBT people from discrimination in state employment, including Louisiana, Montana, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
And while these orders afford critical protections and mark important steps forward, their impact is limited and they can be rolled back by future Governors. Most recently in Kansas, Governor Sam Brownback rescinded an executive order issued by his predecessor that protected LGBT state employees.
So while today’s executive order is an important milestone in New Hampshire, we can’t stop there. The only way to ensure transgender people across the Granite State are fully protected from discrimination is for the New Hampshire General Court to take action now to add “gender identity” to the list of protected classes under state law.
Join Freedom for All Americans and thousands of supporters across the Granite State in thanking Governor Hassan for taking this important step protecting transgender people! Click here to sign our thank you card.