Despite overwhelming opposition from New Hampshire voters–and hundreds of years of science, critics say–state Senate Democrats voted unanimously against allowing separate bathrooms and locker rooms based on biological sex.

The bill, HB396, would allow the state to classify people based on biological sex when “such classification serves the compelling state interests of protecting the privacy rights and physical safety of such persons and others.” It names three circumstances: bathrooms and locker rooms, sports, and jails and prisons. It passed the Senate in a 14-10 party-line vote.

Supporters like Sen. Daryl Abbas (R-Salem) call that common sense, while opponents like Sen. Debra Altschiller (D-Stratham), said segregating people based on sex is the same as racism or antisemitism.

“To most people in this chamber, the idea of negating the purpose of the Human Rights Commission so that New Hampshire could discriminate based on race or religion is thinkable,” Altschiller said during Wednesday’s debate. “Clawing back legal protection for transgender people should be, too.”

Altschiller also quoted a law professor from Utah to argue that “one might think it makes perfect sense that bathrooms are separated by sex because there are basic biological differences,” but “that’s completely wrong.” Instead, Altschiller quoted the professor saying laws protecting single-sex spaces are a “result of social anxieties about women’s places in the world.”

She also said that “gender is a social construct,” not a biological fact.

Asked repeatedly by Abbas how public bathrooms and locker rooms should be regulated—if at all—Altschiller declined to respond, simply saying that stopping biological men from using a women’s bathroom was a form of discrimination.

Senate Majority Leader Sharon Carson (R-Londonderry), who is widely assumed to become the likely next Senate President if the GOP holds the upper chamber in November, said the bill was simply a common-sense clarification.

“Men and women have basic biological differences between them. We want to ensure the safety and opportunities available to biological females. This bill clarifies that it is not discriminatory to have different facilities, such as bathrooms, locker rooms, sporting events, and prisons, for males and females. This bill is not a mandate. It is simply a clarification under the State Commission on Human Rights that separate bathrooms or prisons are not discriminatory practices.”

Ian Huyett of Cornerstone Action, a Christian group, rejected Democrats’ claims that the vote was about transgender rights.

“Discriminating based on gender identity is illegal in New Hampshire, and this bill won’t change that. What it will do is allow schools and other entities to consider biological sex,” Huyett told NHJournal.

He also noted the new NHJournal poll showing Granite Staters support allowing single-sex school bathrooms and locker rooms by a 74-10 percent margin. They support girls-only sports 59-18 percent.

“Democrats in the state Senate just unanimously said that sex separation should be completely banned in sports, locker rooms, restrooms, and jails. But this poll shows that only 10 to 20 percent of Granite Staters agree with that position,” Huyett said. “This idea of banning all sex separation is just elite-driven manufactured consent. It isn’t even supported by a majority of Democratic voters.”