In the last week your New Hampshire House passed one of the most egregious pieces of legislation I have ever seen. HB415 protects people based on their perception of their gender, which would have been seen as no more than a joke just a few years ago. One of the e-mails I received form a gentlemen in Weare said “this is nuts” and I agree.
How did we get here? This country is and was founded on Judeo-Christian values and our laws have reflected those values. Under the original NH Constitution one could not be a legislator unless you were a Christian. You could not serve as Governor of MA unless you had accepted Christ as Lord and Savior.
Pres. John Adams said “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” In 1962 Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black writing for the majority as to whether or not NY could have a school prayer said a state sponsored prayer was unconstitutional because of the “Wall of separation between church and state” That quote was from Pres. Thomas Jefferson sent to the Danbury Baptists AssociationIn 1801. He was responding to their concerns that they being Baptist in a predominantly Congregational state would could be forced to except Congregational practices. He wasn't saying that our country is supposed to be atheistic just that one denomination couldn't force it’s will on others.
While Thomas Jefferson was a member of the Virginia legislature, He drafted laws such as a bill to punish Sabbath breakers or a bill to punish religious worship disturbers hardly the work of someone who believed that our country should be void of faith.
The founding fathers did want to keep a denomination from acquiring the power of the state such as was the case in parts of Europe, were the church could tax and keep other denominations from worshiping. That is why Article one of the Bill of Rights says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” Because of the work of the ACLU Justice Hugo Black and others we have arrived at point were to some HB415 seem reasonable. Justice Black in his 1962 decision also said “It has been argued that to apply the Constitution in such a way as to prohibit state laws respecting an establishment of religious services in public schools is to indicate a hostility toward religion or toward prayer.
Nothing, of course, could be more wrong” Justice Black was wrong on both counts and now we arrive at a time were many are openly hostile to this countries Judeo-Christian heritage. We must continue to fight against laws that are so abhorrent to our way of life. To do less will only invite more and greater perversion. If we cannot stem the tide it will not be long before we become Rome.
1) The law was touted as a way to protect tansgender people from discrimination.
The bill however doesn't use the word tansgender it uses gender identity and gender
Gender Identity: A person's internal sense of their own gender
Gender Expression: A person's outward display of gender characteristics
1) Someone who has a gender identity and gender expression problem be allowed to use any public accommodations. This would allow men to use the girl’s locker room and diminish the privacy and security of the women.
2) It adds a new hate crime. I don't believe in hate crimes, in that if someone beats up an other person, they are already committing a crime and should be prosecuted.
3) Laws that grant special rights to people based on there differences create more of a divide in our culture and are not in the best interest of New Hampshire
Last Wednesday Republicans offered amendments to the bill to make it less harmful:
1) Protect the rights of churches so they wouldn't be forced to hire someone who
was unsure of what gender they were.
2) If a business needed employees who were women to provide services for women, they wouldn't be forced to hire a man who believed themselves to be a women.
3) To protect the privacy of a woman in a retirement home or hospital so that they wouldn't be forced to share a room with a man.
4) We tried to keep male inmates from using this as a means to serve there time in the woman’s prison.
These are some of the amendments to HB415 we tried to pass all of which failed. The debate can be watched at. http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/media/live_media.htmIt starts 35min into the morning session of 04/08/2009 The role call vote can be seen at:http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/nhgcrollcalls/Default.aspxSearch 2009- Search HB415- vote #110 click on view votesWho's your Legislator?http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/members/wml.aspx
Representative Gary Hopper is from Weare, NH and is very well respected for his understanding of the US and State Constitution and his common sense approach in dealing with state legislation.