A bill was introduced to the N.H. state house on Jan. 12 that would, among other things, prohibit transgender minors from receiving gender-affirming care in the state.
I fear that the authors of this legislation know deep down that the science is not on their side, but they’d rather disregard the facts and continue to push their hateful agenda on Granite Staters.
Not only does the bill seek to crackdown on gender-affirming care, it also goes after public education. Education majors here at Keene State should be deeply concerned about HB 619, as it places even more onerous restrictions on public school teachers in the state.
The latter half of the bill seeks to prohibit any K-12 public school teacher from saying that there are more than two genders or that gender is a fluid concept. The only exception to the rule is at the high school level if the teacher teaches a psychology class and is a licensed child psychologist. The bill also prevents teachers from calling students by their preferred name and pronouns, forcing educators to strictly abide by what the student’s parents/guardians write on their enrollment form.
It’s ironic that these so-called small government supporting legislators will pull no stops when it comes to usurping curriculum control from local school boards and districts across the state.
HB 619 is simply yet another example of a targeted attack on N.H.’s already marginalized transgender youth.
The bill’s text correctly indicates that only a small percentage of the American population identifies as transgender, and that the transgender population suffers from significantly higher than average suicide rates; yet, somehow, it’s solution is to prohibit care to youth that’s been proven to help reduce these rates.
According to a meta-analysis by Cornell University of 55 different studies on the mental health effects of gender transition, 51 of the studies indicate that gender transition improved the overall well-being of transgender people, while the other four studies found it had mixed or no results.
Additionally, a study by the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found that transgender youth that socially transitioned reported levels of anxiety and depression closer to those of cisgender youth.
HB 619 also attempts to perpetuate false and misleading claims about people that transition later regretting the decision. This is simply not the case.
Another meta-analysis by the International Open Access Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that of 27 studies, and from a total of 7,928 patients that underwent gender-affirming surgery, less than one percent reported feeling regret about undergoing the procedures.
The extensive list of studies and meta-analyses from several different medical and scientific fields continuously verify what many believe to be true: denying care to transgender people and transgender youth is not only wrong, it has dangerous implications.
Lastly, the bill proposes narrowing the state’s definition of conversion therapy. The bill would allow for the practice, so long as the person in question doesn’t explicitly and repeatedly state that they do not wish to go through with it.
Victor Madrigal-Borloz, a United Nations expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, declared back in 2020 that the practice of conversion therapy can amount to torture and proposed a global ban.
“Practices of conversion therapy are not only ineffective, but they can also be extremely harmful. They often lead to pain and suffering that will last far beyond their occurrence, leaving indelible scars on a person’s body and mind,” Madrigal-Borloz said in his report to the Human Rights Council.
Madrigal-Borloz is completely correct, and the N.H. legislature would be far better off listening to him instead of reactionary political pundits trying to set the clock back on equal rights.
HB 619 has a committee hearing slated for Mar. 7. It is my sincere hope that this anti-science, anti-medicine, and anti-education bill is stopped right in its tracks. The legislature should be moving to protect our state’s LGBTQ+ youth, not restrict and oppress their existence. We can’t let N.H. become a sanctuary for bigotry.
Nathan Hope can be contacted at