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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

NH House reaffirms support for transgender 'bathroom bill'

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Monday, February 5, 2024   

New Hampshire lawmakers have voted to advance a so-called "bathroom bill," which opponents said will allow anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

House Bill 396 does not ban transgender people from using multi-person restrooms or joining sports teams aligned with their gender identity but does allow public and private institutions to create their own restrictions.

Linds Jakows, co-founder of the group 603 Equality, said the bill stems from misinformation and fear.

"Our opponents vent unfounded fears, saying the sky is going to fall, there's going to be all of these safety and privacy violations," Jakows observed. "None of those have come true."

The bill passed the House last month, but some lawmakers moved for a "reconsideration," which was rejected. Supporters of the legislation argued it gives local institutions the power to decide what is right for them.

State legislatures nationwide introduced and passed a record-breaking number of bills last year targeting the LGBTQ+ community. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu signed transgender nondiscrimination protections into law in 2018 and Jakows hopes he will help ensure the safety and rights of the community again.

In the meantime, Jakows emphasized advocates will work to educate lawmakers on the effect policies like those in the bill can have on transgender people.

"We'll be working to help people connect," Jakows explained. "To help people prepare for small-group meetings with their state senators to share the stories that we know change hearts and minds and build understanding."

Jakows added it includes reminding legislators of policies already in place. The New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association has previously affirmed transgender people have the right to participate in athletics in alignment with their chosen gender.


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