You may have seen Karen Testerman publicly circulating false claims about HB 396 and the actions of her husband, Rep. Dave Testerman. It’s important that you know the truth.
As you may know, in February of this year, churches around New Hampshire spent days and nights engaged in tireless advocacy securing the votes needed to pass HB 396, State Recognition of Biological Sex.
Thanks to their extraordinary efforts, a miraculous victory was nearly secured. Every Republican on the normally moderate-leaning House Judiciary Committee cast their vote to protect women and girls and send this critical bill to the floor.
Every Republican, that is, but one. Seeing that the bill could likely pass on the House floor, GOP representative Dave Testerman and a group of House Democrats, led by Rep. Marjorie Smith, stood together to cynically destroy the bill by working to send it to a so-called “study committee.”
Rep. Testerman’s vote was a surprise stab-in-the-back to women and girls. To be clear, Dave Testerman did not vote against the bill for any good faith reason. In fact, he seemed to think it was funny to wreck the efforts of churches and families who had fought for the bill.
Karen Testerman has publicly claimed the bill “did not accomplish anything” and “therefore needed more work.” These claims are as transparent as they are false.
For one thing, the claim that this bill somehow “did not go far enough” is an excuse that the Testermans invented several days after the vote. As everyone who was close to this process knows, Rep. Testerman initially struggled or refused to give any explanation at all for his vote.
In fact, Dave Testerman voted for the same bill when it was debated just last year: at the time, it was called HB 1180. These fake excuses evidently did not apply then. Dave and Karen Testerman are only using them now to conceal Rep. Testerman’s true motives.
There is one key reason that school districts around New Hampshire are faced with a crisis of extreme gender ideology: progressive advocacy groups, including Governor Sununu’s Department of Justice, have spread the false idea that New Hampshire law prohibits any separation on the basis of biological sex. Rep. Jim Kofalt’s HB 396 would have stopped these misrepresentations, clarifying that public entities are not forbidden from using biological sex to separate athletics, private spaces, and prison facilities.
Milford School District is one example of a district which ignores biological sex because board members have accepted the DOJ’s false claims. In a committee hearing on HB 396, Rep. Dave Testerman looked a young mother from Milford in the eye as his committee heard her desperate plea: a biological male is not only using her daughter’s locker room, but deliberately insulting her daughter’s privacy and dignity. This woman bravely asked Testerman and other representatives for their urgent help.
Rep. Testerman knew that HB 396 would have directly addressed this immediate problem. Testerman had also never raised any concerns about the bill—not last year, when he personally voted for the same bill, nor in the weeks leading up to the HB 396 vote.
Yet Testerman not only callously ignored this mother’s pleas, but purposefully acted to harm her daughter and other students like her. By single-handedly destroying a bill that he knew could pass, Rep. Testerman sacrificed the dignity and privacy of girls like this Milford student—whose story we have heard repeated in multiple New Hampshire school districts—for his own insidious political motives.
What about the “work” that Karen Testerman claims the bill needed? In the minutes immediately before Rep. Testerman’s vote, Democrats flaunted the fact that their motion would stop the House from ever taking up the bill, with Rep. Marjorie Smith joking that they might agree on a new amendment for the House to consider “in 10 years.” Rep. Testerman and the Democrats have no intention of doing any “work” on this bill—and they aren’t pretending otherwise.
Karen Testerman has also claimed that Cornerstone never fought to stop HB 608, the bill adding “gender identity” to state nondiscrimination law, in 2019. In reality, Cornerstone was a leading opponent of that bill, as a simple Google search would clearly show. This egregious claim is a distraction. The sad truth is Rep. Dave Testerman has now done more than any single politician to perpetrate the very abuses ushered in by this bill.
Karen Testerman has also made much of the fact that Cornerstone has not involved itself with the hodge-podge of bills that Rep. Testerman introduced this year. What she does not mention is that, this year, Dave Testerman has not even shown up for the committee hearings on at least five bills for which he was the sole sponsor.
Karen Testerman would have you believe that, even though Rep. Testerman does not take his own longshot bills seriously, Cornerstone—a group that often stands by itself against a dozen full-time left-wing organizations—must use its limited resources to support every one of the hundreds of conservative bills that legislators introduce each term.
The reality is that there is a good explanation for all of Rep. Testerman’s behavior. While our network of families and churches engages in the real work of advocacy, Rep. Testerman poses as a hardliner by introducing frivolous bills he knows will never pass. Underneath the rhetoric, however, he has proven that his motives are far from honest. When the chips are down and real consequences are on the line, Testerman will collude with Democrats to enforce gender ideology on girls’ locker rooms.
We encourage Rep. Testerman’s constituents to make sure he knows he no longer represents their views and interests.