Monday, March 30, 2009

GLBT Action Alert: New Hampshire Marriage Equality Needs Your Voice!

When I went to the New Hampshire State House this Thursday I expected to be reporting the events of the day regarding the NH vote on marriage equality. Instead I find a far more pressing need; a call for action. HB436 (the "gay marriage bill) is in need of GLBT support, not just from New Hampshire residents, but from anyone anywhere that supports liberty and equality. The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted down HB436 by one vote. Luckily someone who was prepared for this possibility called a motion to reconsider before our opposition could move on to the next article of business. We won over some votes changing the outcome of the day 186-179 in our favor. The obstacles before us are a Senate that might not support us, a Governor who may veto the passage of this bill, and an emboldened opposition who sees the closeness of this battle as a sign they should throw all their weight into this fight in with the hope that a loss in New Hampshire will have a ripple effect. All people that would stand up and fight, your time is now! Go to Concord and lobby if you can. If you can't get there in person call or write the NH Senate by visiting

Here is a copy of the letter I am sending as an example:

To: Members of the New Hampshire State Senate

The opponents of marriage equality imply that all homosexuals are part of a malevolent collective which other citizens need to be protected from without fulfilling their burden of proof. My sexuality neither defines me as a person, nor is proof of mea culpa. Section one of the fourteenth amendment of the United States Constitution states:

“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the
privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall
any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without
due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the
equal protection of the laws.”

I accuse that the fears lodged against marriage equality area mixture of hearsay and deliberate misrepresentations. Thomas Jefferson offers this insight written two hundred years ago:

“All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the
will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be
rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal
rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be

We know separate but equal does not work, civil unions are merely a consolation that does not satisfy the Constitution’s requirements of equality for all. When defending equality in this instance I am reminded of Robert Kennedy who once said, “Some people ask why, I ask why not?”

General John Stark coined our state’s motto; “Live Free or Die!” His original statement was “Live Free or Die! There are worse things than death.” Worse things like oppression.

The Abenaki Indians native to New Hampshire have a saying similar to Greek philosopher Heraclitus, “You cannot stand in the same river twice.” We cannot strive to better ourselves if we do not embrace change. Robert Frost wrote “Two roads diverged in the woods, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” I expect we can move down this new path together as one people, remembering always the responsibility to respect one another.

Approving marriage equality will undoubtedly have a dramatic effect on the citizens it provides for without inhibiting the freedoms of anyone else. Massachusetts proves after five years of marriage equality that the sky will not fall. We can remain as we are, or we can grow with an understanding of who we hope to be. Gandhi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I ask you, if not now, when? Thank you for your valuable time and consideration.

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