Lawmakers debate bill prohibiting transgender girls from participating in New Hampshire girls’ sports

House Bill 1205 received a hearing in the House Education Committee on Monday, while Senate Bill 375 was heard in the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday. These bills were introduced following the earlier passage of a bill by the House that aimed to prohibit gender-affirming care for minors in January. Among the measures proposed, one of the bills focuses on regulating bathroom usage for transgender students.

According to Rep. Louise Andrus, R-Salisbury, the primary sponsor of HB 1205, she believes that the bill is crucial in providing protection and ensuring fairness in sports for individuals assigned female at birth in New Hampshire.

What do the bills say?

House Bill 1205 mandates that schools must classify athletics based on sex and prohibits individuals assigned male at birth from participating in female athletics.

The bill encompasses various educational institutions, including kindergarten, both public and nonpublic schools offering grades one through 12, as well as public two or four-year colleges and universities.

According to the bill, a female is defined as someone whose sex was determined as female at birth, while a male is defined as someone whose sex was determined as male at birth.

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The bill ensures that all students, regardless of gender, can participate in athletic teams designated as male or coed.

The Senate was presented with a bill on Tuesday, known as SB 375, which aims to establish clear designations for school sports teams. This bill seeks to explicitly categorize teams as male, female, or coed, and it also includes provisions that bar biologically male students from participating in sports designated for females or accessing female locker rooms.

Arguments made for and against the ban in the House

Rep. Michael Moffett, a Republican from Loudon, expressed his concern about the safety of girls playing against individuals who were assigned male at birth. He believes that there are potential risks involved in such scenarios. Similarly, Rep. Jess Edwards, a Republican from Auburn, drew a comparison to the military, where different genders have distinct physical fitness standards.

Reed questioned the potential discrimination faced by masculine-looking girls, suggesting that they may be subjected to policing or required to provide their birth certificates for investigation. She expressed skepticism regarding the existence of any documented instances of danger or violence in sports related to gender presentation, highlighting the lack of substantiated accounts.

Linds Jakows, one of the cofounders of 603 Equality, a community in Dover dedicated to fostering an LGBTQ-friendly environment in New Hampshire, expressed strong disagreement with the notion that transgender girls pose a threat to other girls and women. Jakows emphasized the importance of avoiding harmful rhetoric, as it can have detrimental effects on the mental well-being and overall inclusion of transgender girls.

Brennan emphasized the detrimental impact of denying children the opportunity to play, particularly highlighting the devastating consequences it can have on transgender children.

Jennifer Smith, a retired family practice physician and transgender woman, refutes the notion that the majority of transgender girls and women pose a disadvantage to other women. She emphasizes that this is especially true for those who begin their transition before reaching puberty.

After finishing a tennis match, Smith expressed that her teammates are completely accepting of her transgender identity.

“Some of them tower over me, and there’s at least one who packs a much stronger punch than I do,” she admitted.

Two former athletes shared their opposing views in the Senate

According to the Associated Press, two former athletes expressed contrasting opinions on the Senate bill.

Michelle Cilley Foisy, a resident of Temple, shared with the committee her impressive athletic achievements. In high school, she shattered track and field records, and even clinched a state championship as a member of a relay team. Her exceptional skills and dedication earned her an athletic scholarship, allowing her to pursue higher education.

“I share the details of my athletic career not to seek recognition, but to highlight that my accomplishments were not diminished by the competition I faced. Instead, they were only enhanced,” she stressed.

According to her, the proposed legislation amplifies and intensifies the isolation that transgender youth, like my child, already face.

During her testimony, Nancy Biederman shared an interesting anecdote about her past achievements in badminton. She proudly mentioned that she had won the Connecticut high school doubles championship in 1987.

NH’s Dueling Electric Vehicle Bills: Slow Progress vs. Safety Concerns

As the popularity and demand for electric vehicles (EVs) continue to grow, policymakers in New Hampshire are grappling with how to navigate the future of this emerging technology. Currently, two contrasting bills are being debated in the state legislature, each presenting its own set of perspectives and priorities.

On one hand, there are proponents of a bill that aims to accelerate the adoption of EVs in the state. They argue that New Hampshire is falling behind neighboring states in terms of EV infrastructure and incentives, which could hinder economic growth and environmental sustainability. They believe that by incentivizing the installation of more charging stations and providing financial incentives for EV purchases, New Hampshire can catch up and be a leader in the clean transportation revolution.

However, there are also concerns about the potential safety risks associated with EVs, which are addressed in another bill. Some lawmakers worry about the lack of noise emitted by these vehicles, as it poses a potential hazard to pedestrians, especially those who are visually impaired. This bill seeks to address this issue by proposing regulations that would require EVs to emit some form of sound while in operation, ensuring the safety of all road users.

Both bills highlight the need for careful consideration and balancing of priorities. While one bill focuses on advancing EV adoption to reap the economic and environmental benefits, the other emphasizes the importance of addressing safety concerns to ensure the well-being of all individuals on the road. It is essential for policymakers to find a middle ground that supports the growth of the EV industry while also safeguarding public safety.

As the debate unfolds in New Hampshire, it is crucial for lawmakers to engage in open and informed discussions, taking into account the perspectives of various stakeholders. Balancing progress and safety is a delicate task, but with careful consideration and collaboration, New Hampshire can pave the way for a sustainable and safe future of transportation.

History of transgender legislation in New Hampshire

Currently, laws in more than 20 states prohibit transgender students from participating on sports teams that align with their gender.

According to the Associated Press, lawmakers in New Hampshire have previously rejected similar proposals in recent years. However, this year, they are considering two new bills.

Advocates supporting transgender youth have expressed their opposition towards several bills during this legislative session. One such bill, already passed in the House, aims to impose restrictions or bans on gender-affirming medical care for transgender minors, potentially making New Hampshire the 24th state to do so. It is important to note that this form of care has been available in the United States for over a decade and has received endorsements from major medical associations.

Critics argue that the House has also approved legislation that would potentially undermine the anti-discrimination protections implemented in 2018.

The current law prohibits discrimination based on sex or gender identity. However, the recently passed bill would permit public and private entities to make distinctions based on “biological sex” in multi-person bathrooms and locker rooms, athletic events, and detention facilities. Despite this, one legislator who voted in favor of the bill has expressed intentions to request a reassessment.

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