NHDP Statement: Speaker Jasper & Governor Sununu defeated transgender rights in their own ways

Concord, N.H. – This morning, the House voted to table HB478 by a 187-179 vote. This bill would have outlawed discrimination against transgender people. The bill was supported and sponsored by members of both parties. Governor Sununu was asked for his position on the bill, to which he replied that he has “no personal opinion.”

NHDP Chair Ray Buckley issued the following statement:

“In an act of weakness, House Speaker Shawn Jasper tabled HB478 rather than having representatives debate the legislation on the floor. Because of this, transgender people will be subject to discrimination.

The question is: Where was Governor Sununu? He did not make his position known until yesterday, when he said he had “no personal opinion.” With Sununu’s support, the bill, which was tabled by a slim margin, would be on its way to the corner office. His silence and apathy are a tacit endorsement of discrimination and he will have to live with the fact that he denied many transgender people the freedom that is granted through equality under the law.

Sununu’s cowardly non-position is a way to save himself from criticism of those he admires: President Trump recently ripped down a transgender rights rule at the federal level. Sununu’s appointment for Education Commissioner, Frank Edelblut, spoke out in the last year against transgender rights, and now presides over our children’s education. Sununu’s father, former Governor John Sununu coined the term “bathroom bill” and called it part of the “radical liberal agenda.”

By testing the political winds rather than standing up for basic human rights, Governor Sununu has legitimized the idea that the transgender community does not matter and does not belong. He will have to answer for the consequences.”

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