The New Hampshire House has opted to pass a bill extending discrimination protections to trans individuals.
The bill will allow 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.
The House had voted 181-149 to block the bill last month but chose to reconsider after House Speaker Terie Norelli appealed.
A close vote of 188-187 means the bill will now be heard in the Senate.
It has been dubbed the “bathroom bill” by opponents, who say it will lead to an increase in sex attacks in public toilets.
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.
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?”