This week, the New Hampshire House and Senate voted to pass HB 315, a bill that will put the safety of women throughout the state at risk.
Unfortunately, the final wording of the bill contains deeply problematic language that will provide protection to predatory males who sexually harass and threaten women.
The bill passed the house 271-98, and the Senate by a majority voice vote. This vote should be both a warning and an encouragement.
On the one hand, about half of our House Republicans chose to sacrifice the safety and dignity of Granite State women and girls to appease out-of-state gender ideologues and New Hampshire’s increasingly far-left Department of Justice.
On the other hand, 98 House representatives swam against the stream and bravely defied these powerful interests—even though regular Granite State voters were the only force opposing this bill. We are truly blessed to have a large core of principled and courageous legislators in our House of Representatives—and they deserve our thanks.
Sadly, once HB 315 is signed into law, a woman on trial for murder will no longer be able to argue that she was provoked by a man’s unwanted and aggressive sexual advances. Assuming Governor Sununu signs this bill, predatory sexual harassment will only constitute provocation if it is “forcible”—meaning the man actually lays hands on the woman.
Under current law, a woman on trial for murder could point to a man’s egregious and frightening sexual advances to at least mitigate her culpability, even if these advances were not physically forcible. Once HB 315 is signed into law, however, this argument will be illegal unless the man actually used physical force as part of his sexual advance.
Proponents of the bill argue that it will only be applied to straight men who kill gay men for sexually propositioning them. Yet nothing in bill’s text says this. On the contrary, the bill creates a new, general protection for unwanted “sexual advances.” The vast majority of sexual advances are directed towards women and girls, not straight men.
The imaginary scenario behind this bill—a hateful straight men executing a gay man for propositioning him—has never actually occurred in New Hampshire. This means that New Hampshire legislators have just chosen to place the safety of women and girls in jeopardy solely to engage in pointless virtue-signaling and groveling to the cultural left.
We think these Republicans will come to see that their actions have pleased neither the cultural left—whose hatred is never truly sated by these kinds of pitiful gestures from Republicans—nor the women and girls whose safety they have sacrificed.