Gubernatorial candidate Jon Kiper denounces anti-LGBTQ legislation

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Jon Kiper Headshot1
Jon Kiper is a Democrat seeking the party’s nomination for governor.

CONCORD, NH — Candidate for governor Jon Kiper spoke out today against Senate legislation aimed at undermining the rights of transgender youth.

“This package of fearmongering bills targeting our already vulnerable youth population is just another attempt by the dying Republican Party to avoid addressing the real problems Granite Staters face,” said Kiper. “As baby boomers transition into Social Security and Medicare, voters aren’t fooled by the GOP’s campaign of misinformation. All that the Republicans have left is scare tactics, and they’re doing it at the expense of our children’s health, privacy, and safety.”

SB375, a bill that would prohibit transgender girls from participating in sports with other girls, was heard in the House Education Committee today.

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NH State Rep. Alissandra Murray (D-Manchester)

Since 2015, the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association (NHIAA) has, by policy, allowed transgender athletes to participate on the teams with which they identify.

Recently, nearly 200 local coaches, athletes, and family members signed onto an open letter opposing SB375 and calling on Governor Chris Sununu to oppose the measures.

SB341, another GOP bill, would force teachers to “out” transgender and queer students to their parents or guardians, with no workable exceptions for students at risk of abuse or neglect. This bill was heard in the same committee today.

“With these bills, the GOP is wasting taxpayer dollars to hyperfocus on a small subset of Granite Staters who simply want to live free,” said Kiper. “Straight out of the authoritarian playbook, New Hampshire Republicans are barreling down a slippery slope toward a white heteronormative ethnostate devoid of any semblance of American freedom.”

“We need to stand up for transgender people today, because if the GOP has its way, the rights of all Granite Staters will soon be in jeopardy,” added Kiper. “As governor, I will oppose the marginalization of any Granite Stater. In the Live Free or Die state, our live-and-let-live culture must be honored at the top levels of government.”

Representative Alissandra Murray, D-Manchester, spoke to the deeper impacts of transphobic legislation.

Loren Selig
State Rep. Loren Selig (D-Durham)

“As a queer state representative, it’s genuinely heartbreaking to see my colleagues debate the rights of LGBTQ+ youth. Their words have done so much damage to the well-being of queer and trans students, and if passed, these bills will only do more,” said Rep. Murray, a nonbinary lawmaker who serves as Clerk of the House Criminal Justice Committee. “Granite Staters do not hold these anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments, and it’s time we heed their call and stop these unnecessary legislative attacks.”

Representative Loren Selig, D-Durham, testified against both bills today in the House Education Committee.

“When I was a teacher, I worked hard to foster relationships with my students so that they would feel safe and comfortable talking to me about problems,” recalled Rep. Selig during her testimony against SB341. “For those parents whose children choose not to speak to them, perhaps the conversation they should be having is why their kids don’t feel safe enough to talk to them.”

In her testimony today, Rep. Selig, a mother to two teen daughters, characterized SB375 as “discriminatory and hurtful”, and countered supporters’ claims about transgender athletes.

“My younger daughter has gotten more than one concussion in her time playing basketball and cheering,” said Rep. Selig. “In none of the cases was it a transgender girl who injured her. Sports have inherent dangers. That’s why parents sign releases.”

Rep. Selig stated further, “My daughters have no issue playing sports alongside transgender girls—because they are all just girls.”

Kiper joins Reps. Murray and Selig in calling on members of the House Education Committee to vote down this package of bills.


Background

Jon Kiper is a lifelong New Hampshire resident, community activist, and former Town Councilor. He is currently seeking the Democratic nomination for New Hampshire Governor. He is also the owner and operator of Jonny Boston’s International, a Newmarket eatery. While on the Newmarket Town Council, he successfully pushed the planning board to legalize tiny houses, implemented an ordinance to allow restaurants to serve alcohol in sidewalk seating areas, and spearheaded a successful initiative for food composting at the town transfer station. He is a co-founder of the Newmarket Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention, and he has been instrumental in forming the Wentworth Cheswell Monument Committee, which is fundraising to build a statue of the first African American elected to public office in the United States. He currently serves on the board of Newmarket Main Street Corporation, which works to preserve and honor the history of the town of Newmarket. He lives in Newmarket with his 8-year-old son, Oliver, his partner, Emily, and their cats, Duck and Pizza Cat.


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