Thursday, November 08, 2012

Stacie Laughton-New Hampshire Trans State Rep!

When the New Hampshire state legislature begins its session on January it will be only two seats shy of flipping control of the Senate back into Democratic hands at 13-11.   The 400 member New Hampshire House will have a 221 member Democratic majority under the leadership of Terrie Norelli as Speaker of the House.

The Democratic majority will also contain the first open trans person ever elected to a US state legislature. 

On Tuesday Democrat Stacie Laughton easily beat out two Republican candidates in the Ward 4 state legislative race in Nashua to become New Hampshire's first trans state representative.

In addition to being the first ever open trans legislator elected to a US state legislative seat, she also becomes the first elected trans state legislator since Althea Garrison accomplished that feat in neighboring Massachusetts 20 years ago

“I believe that at this point, the LGBT community will hopefully be inspired,” Laughton said Wednesday. “My hope is that now maybe we’ll see more people in the community running, maybe for alderman. Maybe in the next election, we’ll have a senator.”

Laughton said in an interview she also would like to work on legislation to make it easier for trans people to be recognized in the state, including measures that would make it easier for group members to change their gender on state-issued IDs and being able to use the restroom of their choice.
“The state needs to be welcoming and affirming and sending that message that we will be welcoming and you won’t be discriminated against in New Hampshire.” .

I sure hope so Rep-Elect Laughton, especially in light of the fact that just three years ago a trans rights bill was voted down 24-0 in a then Democratically controlled predominately female New Hampshire Senate after it passed by one vote in the New Hampshire House.   It was galling in light of the fact they had no problem passing a same gender marriage bill in the same session.  

Hopefully Rep-Elect Stacie Laughton can help change that.

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