CONCORD, N.H. – On Friday, August 16, Governor Chris Sununu signed into law H.B. 608, a bill that extends gender identity discrimination protections to areas of state law that were not covered by the comprehensive reforms passed last year in H.B. 1319. This includes in health insurance, residential care, mental health services, and sentencing of hate crimes.
“This new law is a renewal of last year’s promise to fully protect every Granite Stater from discrimination on the basis of gender identity,” said Palana Belken, Trans Justice Organizer at the ACLU of New Hampshire. “Building on the incredible momentum from the comprehensive reforms passed last year, these additional protections will ensure that in all state aspects, people are protected. We are grateful to every legislator who voted for this legislation, and Governor Sununu for signing it into law.”
“We are thrilled to see another step toward equality in healthcare and other vital services for the transgender community,” said Chris Erchull, Staff Attorney at GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders. “Legislative advances such as HB 608 are critical to ensuring LGBTQ people in New Hampshire are able to live authentically and free from discrimination.”
The protections provided under H.B. 608 also come after two additional laws passed this session that will help create greater lived equality for the LGBTQ+ community in New Hampshire, including adding a third gender marker designation on state drivers’ licenses, as well as ensuring that children in public schools are protected from gender identity discrimination in state law.