The New Hampshire House yesterday rejected a measure aimed to extend discrimination provisions to trans residents after opponents dubbed it ‘the bathroom bill’.

The bill would have allowed the words “gender identity” or “gender expression” to be added to current laws protecting from discrimination on the basis of sex, age, race, creed, colour, sexual orientation or religion.

However, it failed by a 15-vote margin.

State representative Ed Butler, who sponsored the bill, said it was “a simple little non-discrimination bill” which would prevent trans individuals from losing their homes and jobs on the basis of their trans status.

Opponents had cited issues of men entering women’s bathrooms and increased rates of sexual attacks.

Representative Nancy Elliott, a Merrimack Republican, told the Concorde Monitor: “I don’t want a man coming, sitting next to me in the sauna.

“How many male prisoners would suddenly become a female to get into the girls’ prison?”

Despite the blow to trans rights, gay campaigners are celebrating progress for same-sex marriage in the state, which already allows civil partnerships.

The New Hampshire State House voted yesterday to approve the proposal, which will now progress to the Senate.

The bill, if passed, would make it the third US state to allow gay couples to marry.