New HampshireDepartment of JusticeOffice of the Attorney General

News Release

For Immediate Release
September 23, 2021

Contact:
Kate Giaquinto, Director of Communications
kate.giaquinto@doj.nh.gov | 603-573-6103

Sean R. Locke, Assistant Attorney General
Director of the Civil Rights Unit
(603) 271-3650

New Hampshire Civil Rights Act and Imposes Fine and Other Conditions

Concord, NH – Attorney General John M. Formella announces that the Civil Rights Unit has filed a civil complaint in Hillsborough County Superior Court against Matthew Dionne, age 35, of Manchester, New Hampshire, for violating the New Hampshire Civil Rights Act.

The complaint alleges that on May 11, 2021, Mr. Dionne assaulted a male who was walking along Elm Street in Manchester, New Hampshire, and holding hands with his boyfriend. The assault was unprovoked and after Mr. Dionne was apprehended by police, he stated that he assaulted the man because he did not "approve of homosexuality" and did not want the couple "to perform public displays of affection in public space." The civil complaint alleges that the assault was motivated by animus toward the victim's sexual orientation.

A civil rights violation allows for a maximum civil penalty of $5,000. The court may also enjoin further violations of the Civil Rights Act.

The complaint and the allegations contained therein are merely accusations that the Civil Rights Unit must prove at a final hearing.

The Civil Rights Unit enforces state and federal civil rights laws, including the New Hampshire Civil Rights Act and the New Hampshire Law Against Discrimination. Anyone who believes their civil rights may have been violated may file a complaint at https://www.doj.nh.gov/civil-rights/index.htm or by calling 603-271-3650.

New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658