Upon reading the local papers I was made aware of HB 0437 proposed by Rep. David Bates of whom I am a constituent of. I have attempted to reach David regarding this matter and I have been unsuccessful, leaving me to wonder why he thinks same sex marriage should be repealed. When listening to his testimony in person a was struck by the understanding that he and this bill are part of an organized effort of the NH GOP, and I also heard someone mention that this stance is in the NH GOP Platform. When I checked these statements for myself I found them to be true. In fact, this issue is the first listed, and presumably the most important issue regarding family (VIII. THE FAMILY):
- Recognizing marriage as the legal union between one man and one woman
- Opposing recognition by the State of New Hampshire of all other forms of civil unions, regardless of where such unions were formed (other states, U.S. territories, and foreign countries)
Silence, especially from an elected official when confronted by a constituent, is a horrible response to honest and respectful dialog. It is my hope that someone explain what the NH GOP has found so compelling as to make same sex marriage a top priority written into the party platform itself. Further, I'd like to know how to obtain the minutes of the meeting in which this issue was debated and decided upon.
It is my contention that we are all responsible for our individual actions, and that no citizen of New Hampshire should be subject to such a sweeping change unless it is truly warranted. That warrant needs to bare the brunt of scrutiny. As a member in good standing with my community and part of a committed relationship of more than 16 years, I have a deep respect for law and my neighbor. If in my actions I offend the rights of another I ask simply to be told how so I can change my ways for the better. In the absence of my personal violation I would ask how I as an individual can prove my worth and maintain my rights as they are so as not to be considered part of a faceless menacing mob that needs to be curtailed.
My understanding of law and ethics brings me to conclude that the majority should never endorse a "might makes right" attitude towards minorities, gays and lesbians included. We do not have the right to legislate our beliefs or any aspect of them upon people who differ in their own beliefs; this is the spirit of freedom itself and is protected by our Constitution. Perhaps the guidance we need has been with us for over 200 years, given from President Thomas Jefferson:
"The will of the majority is in all instances to prevail, but for that will to be rightful it must be reasonable. The minorities have their equal rights, and to deny them would be oppression."