HB 396: Relative to the State Recognition of Biological Sex
SUMMARY: HB 396 is a straightforward bill that preserves the state’s ability to differentiate between biological sexes in areas such as athletic competitions, prisons, restrooms, or places of intimate privacy.
STATUS: There will be a public hearing on HB 396 before the House Judiciary Committee this week. Following a hearing, a committee votes to either recommend the bill to the full House as OTP (Ought to Pass) or ITL (Inexpedient to Legislate). This is the first step in passing or defeating a bill. The testimony of citizens submitted at these hearings is influential in determining what recommendation a committee will make on a bill.
WHEN: Thursday, January 26, at 4:00 PM in the Legislative Office Building, rooms 206-208.
CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone SUPPORTS this bill.
WHY: HB 396 is needed to clarify that nothing in New Hampshire law prevents public facilities from differentiating between the biological sexes in athletic competitions, prisons, locker rooms, restrooms, or places of intimate privacy.
New Hampshire currently has liberal laws regarding gender and state ID, allowing Granite Staters to freely select whatever gender they choose on their drivers’ licenses. Elsewhere in the country, liberal federal courts are interpreting similar state laws to mandate that any distinction between the sexes must be made according to state documents alone. This could mean any distinction could be interpreted to rely solely on an individual’s stated preference without regard to any other qualifiers such as whether someone has received medical transitioning. This bill seeks to rectify the potential misapplication of similar laws in New Hampshire.
This bill is an identical copy of HB 1180, which narrowly failed passing the NH House last year. You can read a full analysis of that bill here.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1. Register your support for HB 396 by signing in in support of the bill here.
2. Submit written testimony. You can do this when you sign in. Simply hit “choose file” under step number four to upload a document with your testimony, or type your testimony into the provided box.
3. If you have been affected by progressive policies regarding locker rooms or bathrooms, or if you are a current or former woman athlete who is passionate about women’s athletics, we urge to to come and testify in person. We have step-by-step instructions on how to testify here. You can also reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the testifying process.
Important Note: A number of people have had issues with the House remote sign-in page. If you are encountering problems, you can also email the committee directly registering your support for the bill and/or submitting written testimony. You can find their contact info here or email the full committee at