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Draft legislation would allow discrimination based on gender identity

Allegra Boverman

State lawmakers are again attempting to pass a law that would allow schools to discriminate against transgender athletes.

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Draft legislation in Concord, HB 1180, would add new language related to gender to the law covering birth records.

It would insert a paragraph saying public entities — like schools or jails — can differentiate between people assigned male or female at birth.

Similar proposed legislation targeting trans athletes failed last session. Laws discriminating against transgender athletes violate Title IX, which protects trans students at school.

Republican Representative Linda Gould of Bedford is one of the bill's sponsors. She says the Manchester School District’s decision in early 2021 to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity inspired this legislation.

“I remember reading about that and that got me going in that direction,” she said.

She says the bill will ensure local entities can retain control of their policies.

But Representative Gerri Cannon, a Democrat from Somersworth, called it a "bully bill.”

"This is the second or third time they've tried to put together legislation to block transgender girls from participating in girls' sports. That's the bottom line,” Cannon said.

This law is broader than previous versions and includes the regulation of jails, prisons, and bathrooms.

Cannon says she expects trans people and their families will show up at the coming legislative sessions to voice their concerns over this legislation.