NH House Rejects Controversial 'Parental Bill of Rights'
Monday, May 22, 2023
Advocates for the LGBTQ community are celebrating following New Hampshire's rejection of a so-called "parental bill of rights."
Two Republicans crossed party lines to help defeat the bill, which would have required educators to inform inquiring parents whether their children are using a different gender identity or name.
Attorney Chris Erchull with GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders said it was the right move to ensure schools remain a safe and supportive place, especially for transgender kids.
"So many allies, so many faith leaders, so many parents all coming together to stand united to tell the legislature this is not what we want in our state," said Erchull. "It was a beautiful thing to see."
Supporters of the bill say it was needed to ensure greater transparency and communication between teachers and parents. The final vote to "indefinitely postpone" the bill means the issue can not be reintroduced this session.
Advocates for LGBTQ youth say vulnerable kids are being targeted by lawmakers, putting them at greater risk of neglect and abuse by unapproving parents.
Erin George-Kelly, director of Homeless Youth and Young Adult Services at Waypoint, said some of the most impactful testimony against the bill came from young adults who've experienced that rejection firsthand.
"I'm really glad that this is where we landed with this," said George-Kelly, "and that New Hampshire really stood up for young people when they took this vote."
George-Kelly said LGBTQ youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide compared to their straight peers, and face higher rates of homelessness.
At least 62 "parental bill of rights" measures have been introduced in 24 states this year, so far.
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