Anti-Discrimination Bill Passes First Test in N.H. House

May 8, 2019


Credit Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

A bill to prohibit discrimination in New Hampshire's public schools passed its first test in the House today along mostly partisan lines.

Democrats say it will close a loophole in the state's anti-discrimination laws by allowing students who alleges discrimination to bring their case against a school in local courts.

The bill received bipartisan support in the Senate and came at the recommendation of the Governor's Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion.

Republicans said despite their support for the bill in concept, they needed more time to study unintended consequences.

Presenting an amendment for a study committee, Rep. Rick Ladd of Haverhill said there are still questions about frivolous lawsuits and whether trans girls who are born male would have an unfair advantage when they compete in girls' sports.

"Throughout our questions in hearing and subcommittee, many, many questions were asked, he said. "Some remain unresolved."

"Things have already been studied," responded Democratic Rep. Linda Tanner, of Georges Mill. "We don't need another study committee. We need to act now to end discrimination in our schools so that students can learn in a safe environment."

Backers of the bill said some of these concerns would be addressed when the House Judiciary Committee takes up the bill later this month.