Several pieces of legislation were up for discussion Tuesday at the New Hampshire State House, including a controversial bill that would restrict care for transgender youth.
Lawmakers listened to hours of testimony from people on both sides of bills surrounding transgender youth.
Nancy Brennan delivered an emotional plea, saying “I feel like for those who are anti-trans going after the youth and saying we want to protect them is easy. But I worry about them.”
She spoke out against House Bill 619, “Protection Against Child Medical and Psychological Experimentation“ which aims to block gender transition procedures for minors as well as related medical procedures. The bill also includes items related to public schools. Among them, calling students in grades K-12 by the name and gender they're enrolled as; not allowing the teaching of different pronouns and only allowing students to use the restroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate. Another bill looks to define gender-affirming care for minors as child abuse.
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“Transgender people have a hard enough time never mind the state saying they need them to be how they expect them to be,” said New Hampshire State Rep. Gerri Cannon, D, Strafford 18.
Others like New Hampshire State Rep. Emily Phillips, R, Rockingham 7, came out to voice their support.
“We don’t allow children to consent to tattooing. Permanent body alterations. I don't know why children can consent to any other permanent body alterations," Phillips said.
Attorney Chris Erchull, who works with GLAD, said, “House Bill 619 is one of the most horrible pieces of legislation I have ever seen. It goes right at the heart of every aspect of transgender children’s very existence.”
Erchull said this is not just happening in New Hampshire.
"This is happening across the country. Legislators are hearing bills that will cause deep harm to transgender people.”
The issue, in some cases, has led to threats, including some against Boston hospitals that offer gender-affirming care to their young patients.
Another opposing bill has also been proposed that is looking to make New Hampshire a sanctuary state offering protections to anyone looking for gender-affirming health care.