CONCORD, N.H. – Yesterday, New Hampshire enacted a bill that provides for an “X” gender non-binary marker on drivers licenses, rather than only an “M” or an “F”. After passing through the state House and Senate on voice votes earlier this year, Governor Chris Sununu allowed House Bill 669 to become law without his signature. New Hampshire joins 12 other states and Washington D.C. in providing for the third designation, which allows non-binary people who do not identify as male or female to have accurate and affirming identification. The bill takes effect January 1, 2020.
“This victory is life changing for the many Granite Staters who identify as non-binary, and is another step toward decreasing stigmatization, promoting equality, and ensuring that state identification documents are accurate and affirming,” said Devon Chaffee, Executive Director of the ACLU of New Hampshire. “We applaud Representative Gerri Cannon for her leadership and to the many volunteers, energized after last year’s historic passing of HB 1319, who refused to let up and steadfastly continued the progress towards transgender lived equality in New Hampshire. We also sincerely thank the many legislators, on both sides of the aisle, who voted for HB669 and Governor Sununu for continuing the bipartisan support for LGBTQ rights in New Hampshire.”
Palana Belken, Trans Justice Organizer at the ACLU of New Hampshire, said, “On July 4th, I took a car of volunteers across the state to ask presidential candidates if they would support a federal third gender marker. On July 10, New Hampshire made that designation official on NH state driver’s licenses. This victory is proof positive that all of the work transgender and gender non-binary Granite Staters are doing is advancing lived equality in the Granite State. This victory is shared by the many, many people who made today happen: from calling state reps and senators, to writing postcards, to attending or presenting at ACLU trainings, to tirelessly devoting time and energy to make this happen. We will continue to work to support, protect, and expand the rights for every transgender Granite Stater, and applaud the broad bipartisan support for this bill in the legislature and Governor Sununu for letting this effort be heard and allowing HB 669 to become law.”
Alex McEntee, a non-binary Granite Stater who plans to amend their state I.D., said, “When this law officially takes effect in January, I plan to be among the first to change my license to accurately reflect my identity. I have long thought the “F” that is currently on my license stands for “fraudulent,” because it is simply not correct. I applaud every legislator who heard my testimony and that of other non-binary Granite Staters and voted to stand with us in solidarity by supporting HB669.”
Linds Jakows, former campaign manager for Freedom NH and non-binary activist, said, “Last year, we worked to put comprehensive discrimination protections for transgender people into law, and this year, we’re building on that incredible success. The last two years demonstrate the incredible momentum and support in New Hampshire for the trans and gender non-binary community. Our state still has work to do to achieve transgender lived equality, but the enactment of HB669 is another important step forward.”
MK Kilcoyne, genderqueer activist, said, “Commonsense laws like this help break down the stigma that people in the transgender community face every single day. By their nature, identification documents should be accurate, and this law will ensure that beginning in January 2020, NH driver’s licenses will be. The enactment of this law affirms the dignity of myself and other non-binary Granite Staters, dispelling the notion that our identities are not real. I applaud New Hampshire and the dozen other states leading the charge in providing legal recognition of gender non-binary people.”
There is also a bill, HB 446, that is expected to head to the Governor’s Office in the coming months that would also allow for this designation on birth records.