To the editor:
On Friday, March 17, a letter to the editor written by Margaret Merritt appeared in this paper. She stated she’d lost her pride in the state of New Hampshire because the “legislature” failed to ensure, quote, “Transgender people be treated fairly in finding work, housing, and getting served in public places like hospitals and restaurants.”
Margaret, I’m elated to inform you, you need not despair any longer, for the simple reason, not one iota of what you stated is true. To the contrary, transgenders in the state of New Hampshire have every human right, guaranteed by existing statute, equal to any inhabitant of the state. HB 478 was little more than redundant, embellished hyperbole, with most of its content established in state law, long ago. In truth, HB 478 was a cloaked bathroom bill, which, would have accomplished nothing, except to allow predators and, pedophiles to use little girl’s bathrooms, showers and dressing rooms; putting many at risk.
Article 1 of our state constitution, states: “All men are born equally free and independent.”
Article 2 states: “All men have certain natural, essential, and inherent rights, among them which are, enjoying and defending life and liberty: acquiring, possessing and protecting property; and, seeking and obtaining happiness. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by this state, on account of race, creed, color, sex, or national origin.”
Article 3, in my opinion, is also applicable; it states: “When men enter into a state of society, they surrender some of their natural rights, to that society, in order to ensure the protection of others.”
If you are really that concerned, please familiarize yourself with RSA 354-A authorizing the formation of the State Human Rights Commission, which has been in existence for more than 30 years. The State’s HRC is tasked with eliminating discrimination in employment, public accommodations and the sale or rental of housing or commercial property because of age, sex, sexual orientation, race, color, marital status, familial status, physical or mental disability or national origin.
Contrary to what Margaret has been led to believe, RSA 354-A states: The general court (legislature) finds and declares that practices of discrimination against “any” of its inhabitants are a matter of concern, that such discrimination not only threatens the rights of and proper privileges of its inhabitants, but menaces the institution and foundation of a free and democratic state and threatens the peace, order, safety, health and general welfare of the state and its inhabitants.
The statute relates exactly how the goals of the HRC and related laws will be attained. Perhaps, many of those who favored HB 478, were naive, relative to existing law, or perhaps, they were playing politics with other people’s safety?
I voted to table, and I’m proud of it. Margaret, I sincerely hope the truth has brightened your day!
Rep. Frank McCarthy
Carroll District 2