On Thursday, March 26, 2009 the New Hampshire House will vote on two very important House Bills;
HB436 will grant marriage equality to gays and lesbians. Civil unions are a legal status created solely for gay/lesbian couples. Even if there were not the significant inequities in the way the law treats marriages and civil unions, the fact that a civil union remains a separate status for gay people represents real and powerful discrimination. Our constitution requires legal equality for all.
Excluding gay/lesbian couples from marriage or segregating them with separate institutions, like civil unions -- marks them, and the thousands of children raised by them in NH, as less worthy than other citizens.
(It is also worth noting that HB436 upholds freedom of religion. This bill is about civil marriage, and leaves decisions about religious ceremonies to faith leaders.)
HB415 is the anti-discrimination act for gender identity and expression. This bill defines gender identity and expression and will add it to the list of classes of people protected from discrimination. No one should ever be fired from their job or targeted for a "Hate Crime" due to any discriminating factor, which includes gender identity or expression. Thirteen states and Washington DC already have transgender inclusive laws in place. It is important to send the message that discrimination is ALWAYS wrong!
We, the undersigned, call on you, our representative, to support marriage equality in House Bill 436 and the anti-discrimination act for gender identity and expression in House Bill 415.
End discrimination and grant equality under the law for ALL New Hampshire Citizens.
The Support HB436 and HB415 petition to New Hampshire Residents was written by Rosemary Banach and is in the category Civil Rights at GoPetition.