Has biological sex ceased to exist? To listen to our own New Hampshire Department of Justice and outside advocacy groups, you would think so. But that is not our state law. HB 396 brings much-needed sanity into the discussion by reinforcing the state’s ability to differentiate based on biological sex when it is warranted. Parents across the state are already sounding the alarm, saying their children, especially young girls, are being exposed to embarrassing and harmful instances of physical exposure and even harassment by biological males.

So, what does the bill say? This excerpt from the bill itself neatly sums up the purpose and intent:

RSA 354-A:1:II The general court also finds that, notwithstanding New Hampshire’s fundamental commitment to treat all persons without discrimination and with equal dignity and respect, which commitment the legislature fully accepts and strongly endorses, there are certain limited circumstances in which classification of persons based on biological sex is proper because such classification serves the compelling state interests of protecting the privacy rights and physical safety of such persons and others.

HB 396 does not create new law, nor does it violate our prohibition on discrimination because of gender identity. It doesn’t even require the separation of males and females; it simply acknowledges that – under certain limited circumstances – using biological sex to classify serves the interests of all. Despite that, lawmakers, lobbyists, and even our own justice system are using that anti-discrimination policy to negate any distinction between male and female, asserting that it is only self-declared gender identity that is to be considered. Think about that. As our children are sexually maturing and going through the many challenges of adolescence, we are forcing young girls to share intimate spaces with biological males. HB 396 simply clarifies that separating based on biological sex is still possible and, in certain cases, the practical thing to do.

Evidently, the New Hampshire House agrees. HB 396 passed in the House on Jan. 4, with some Democrats bravely crossing the aisle to support this modest bill. We can only suppose that the majority of Democrat representatives who voted against HB 396 believe biological sex should cease to exist as a factor or consideration for the state. Unfortunately, that victory was short-lived as Rep. Michael Cahill, a Democrat from Newmarket, promptly filed for reconsideration. If the House approves the reconsideration motion, it will essentially negate the first vote and force the chamber to once again debate and vote on the bill. These critical votes could happen as soon as Thursday, Feb. 1.

While HB 396, and its Senate version, SB 562, might not have garnered the attention that other bills have this session, this legislation is arguably the most significant and impactful of the session. There are other solutions for schools and state facilities, such as prisons, to employ other than forcing the sharing of intimate spaces by biological men and women. The evidence of the harm arising from such ideologically-driven policies without regard to potential consequences is everywhere. It is time to consider the overall safety and welfare of all our citizens, not just the agenda-driven desires of a small minority.

It’s time for a dose of sanity and common sense in considering the privacy needs of our children and women. If you agree we need to protect the ability to keep spaces safe and private for all, please contact your representative to urge them to show up on Thursday and vote against reconsideration and, if that motion passes, in favor of HB 396 should it be again voted on Thursday during the next New Hampshire House session.