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N.H. AG Pursues Civil Rights Case On Behalf of Transgender Woman in Nashua

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Sara Ernst
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Defense Attorney Mark Osborne cross-examines the plaintiff.

A Superior Court judge heard testimony Thursday in the case of a Nashua man accused of threatening a transgender woman.  The case is being pursued by the Civil Rights Unit at the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office.

 
The defendant, Marc Bernier, is accused of threatening to kill the transgender woman for using the women's locker room at a Planet Fitness.

 
There is security video of the interaction but it doesn't include any sound.
 
Bernier has denied the allegations, saying he asked about her gender, but did not threaten her in any way. 
 
The plaintiff claims that Bernier referred to her with incorrect gender pronouns, which he continued to do during the hearing. 

 

The director of the Civil Rights Unit, Elizabeth Lahey, argued the defendant violated the state's civil rights laws.

“The evidence shows that there were two threats of violence and we believe with the intent to interfere with her rights to be at the Planet Fitness and to use the bathrooms,” said Lahey.

Lahey presented the Planet Fitness employee who handled the incident as a witness. That witness recalled Bernier threatening to kill the plaintiff. 

The state is requesting a $5,000 fine and a restraining order for the plaintiff, her family, and the Planet Fitness where the incident took place. 

Judge Jacalyn Colburn said she would make her ruling soon.

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