Gen. John Stark coined "Live Free or Die!"
Today all eyes are on Concord, New Hampshire, where HB 437, sponsored by State Rep. David Bates, unsuccessfully attempted to rescind same sex marriage rights in New Hampshire. This vote has the attention of most of the country, if not the world, since New Hampshire is the birthplace of much of our nation's heritage and roots in valor and patriotism.
The motto of New Hampshire is "Live Free or Die!" and has come to serve as the battle cry in the spirit of valor and freedom that founded the United States. This phrase was coined by General John Stark, a revolutionary war hero who, at the request of the Massachusetts Minutemen (predecessors to the United States Marines) raced to their aid and helped hold Breed Hill, creating a condition so difficult for the British to invade that they had to change their plans, setting the stage for the Battle of Bunker Hill.
That motto stems from a letter sent 20 years after the Revolutionary war by Stark in which he states defiantly "Live Free or Die! Death is not the worst of Evils". He was talking about the opression of the British and was meant to inspire us to continue fighting for our freedom always. New Hampshire might have a lot of granite in it, but if you ask anyone who has been there they would tell you it is the resolve of the people that is the granite referred to in our nickname.
The ramifications of HB 437 isn't just about the freedom of same sex couples to marry who they choose; this issue runs much deeper in my eyes, but unlike Rep. David Bates, I am a native Granite Stater.
I wonder what Stark would say today knowing that the freedoms he and thousands since have shed their blood and very lives to defend has become a political tool for one party to use against another as a wedge issue during a presidential election year by an outsider who came into our state and decided he knew better how to run our governent than we natives do.
This is according to Rep. Bates' own words shown in this 2006 campaign video he made:
My marriage to Raymond is protected (for the moment at least) by a grandfather clause which will establish a similar situation in New Hampshire that is now in place in California, where those who have already been married will continue to be recognized, but those seeking same sex marriage in the future will be turned away and asked to settle for civil unions. I fight this cause on principle alone; it's just not right.
New Hampshire had civil unions, they didn't give equal protections, and equality was important enough to our citizens that we enacted same sex marriage years ago.
No one has been able to prove any injury against one against this form of equality, if they could have we wouldn't be needing a vote. I like most people I know was raised to understand that if what you're doing harms others you should stop the moment you understand this to be true. However, I will not compromise my freedoms for unfounded fears and the use stereotyping meant to deny me my right to be judged by the content of my character and through my personal actions. I am an individual, not a faceless part of a malevolence aimed at harming society. We all deserve to be seen as such at least by our government.
Those of you who would allow yourselves the intellectual laziness of not checking all your facts should be ashamed of youselves. You've perpetuated this issue long enough, and it is a shame that I would hold myself to a higher standard (on which we as citizens voluntarily agree on) of honesty and failty to the oath we share than you if the situation were reversed. That standard being the Constitution of the United States.
In the end we will still have gay couples living together freely and openly as legally married. HB437, if ever motivated by something other than bigotry accomplishes nothing, other than to allow us to scuttle all that our state is known to be great for; fiercely defending liberty in all it's forms, NOT just the ones we agree with.
In my opinion the mere presence of this bill and the vote that takes place underscores "the death of reason" taking place across America today, where one man feels free to bear false witness against another while his cronies stand as judge and jury, and the public stands back, uneducated and uncaring about the outcome.
The real trouble comes when America realizes too late that the actions against same sex marriages throughout the country have been a test model for bigger things, and when those bigger things come those who stand to gain from lies they spread will have grown confident that we as a people will again stand back and do nothing, because that is what we have grown used to doing rather than defending what once cost us so much to gain.
In order to keep people informed here is the text of HB 437 being voted on today:
Floor Amendment to HB 437-FN
Proposed by Rep. Bates
Amend the title of the bill by replacing it with the following:
AN ACT relative to civil unions and the definition of marriage.
Amend the bill by replacing all after the enacting clause with the following:
1 New Chapter; Civil Unions. Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 457-A the following new chapter:
457-B:1 State Recognition of Civil Unions; Purpose. The state of
recognizes the civil union between one man and another man or one woman and another woman. The purpose of this chapter is to delineate the rights, obligations, and responsibilities of parties entering a civil union, to establish a process by which the civil union is established, and to provide a process for the dissolution of a civil union. New Hampshire
457-B:2 Requisites. Parties entering into a civil union shall be subject to the same requirements and conditions as contained in RSA 457, provided that civil unions shall only be allowed between one unmarried man and another unmarried man both of whom are at least 18 years of age or one unmarried woman and another unmarried woman both of whom are at least 18 years of age, subject to the prohibitions in RSA 457-B:3 and RSA 457-B:4 and provided that they are not in another civil union.
457-B:3 Civil Unions Prohibited; Men. No man shall enter into a civil union with his father, his grandfather, his father’s brother, his mother’s brother, his son, his brother, his son’s son, his daughter’s son, his brother’s son, his sister’s son, his father’s brother’s son, his mother’s brother’s son, his father’s sister’s son, or his mother’s sister’s son.
457-B:4 Civil Unions Prohibited; Women. No woman shall enter into a civil union with her mother, her grandmother, her father’s sister, her mother’s sister, her daughter, her sister, her son’s daughter, her daughter’s daughter, her brother’s daughter, her sister’s daughter, her father’s brother’s daughter, her mother’s brother’s daughter, her father’s sister’s daughter, or her mother’s sister’s daughter.
457-B:5 Forms, Documents, and Applications; How Performed. The secretary of state shall develop forms, documents, and applications for entering into a civil union, which shall conform to this chapter. Civil unions shall be performed pursuant to the provisions of RSA 457:31 and entered into pursuant to the analogous provisions of RSA 5-C:41-61. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require a minister or clergyman or clergywoman to solemnize or perform a civil union.
457-B:6 Rights, Obligations, and Responsibilities. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the parties who enter into a civil union pursuant to this chapter shall be entitled to all the rights and subject to all the obligations and responsibilities provided for in state law that apply to parties who are joined together pursuant to RSA 457.
457-B:7 Dissolution. Parties who have entered into a civil union who wish to dissolve the civil union shall do so pursuant to RSA 458.
457-B:8 Other Jurisdictions. A civil union or a marriage between a man and another man or a woman and another woman legally contracted outside of
shall be recognized as a civil union in this state, provided that the relationship does not violate the prohibitions of this chapter. New Hampshire
2 Marriage; Purpose and Intent. RSA 457:1 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:
457:1 Purpose and Intent. The legislature finds and declares that:
I. The state has a compelling interest in recognizing and maintaining the distinctiveness of a marital union between opposite-sex couples due to its unique procreative potential.
II. Every child has a natural human right to love, support, and nurturing by his or her natural mother and father, whenever possible. Marriage is the primary social institution that promotes this ideal and encourages its achievement.
III. Only the union of one man and one woman shall be recognized as marriage in
; except however, any marriage recognized as valid in the state prior to the effective date of this section shall continue to be recognized as valid on or after the effective date of this section. New Hampshire
3 Marriageable. Amend RSA 457:4 to read as follows:
457:4 Marriageable. No male below the age of 14 years and no female below the age of 13 years shall be capable of contracting a valid marriage [
that is entered into by one male and one female], and all marriages contracted by such persons shall be null and void. [ No male below the age of 18 and no female below the age of 18 shall be capable of contracting a valid marriage between persons of the same gender, and all marriages contracted by such persons shall be null and void.]
4 Repeal. The following are repealed:
II. RSA 457:31-b, relative to solemnization of marriage; applicability.
III. RSA 457:45, relative to civil union recognition.
IV. RSA 457:46, relative to obtaining legal status of marriage.
5 Severability. The provisions of this act are severable. If any provision of this act is invalid, or if any application thereof to any person or circumstance is invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.
6 Ballot Question. There shall be placed on the ballot at the next statewide election a question to determine voter support for civil unions and defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The question on the ballot shall be: “Shall
law allow civil unions for same-sex couples and define marriage as the union of one man and one woman?” The question shall be followed by 2 squares, one with the word “yes” beside it and another with the word “no” beside it. If no cross or mark is made in either of the squares, or if a mark is made in both of the squares, then the ballot shall not be counted on the question. The secretary of state shall certify the results to the legislature, and the results shall not be binding. New Hampshire
7 Effective Date.
I. Sections 1-4 of this act shall take effect March 31, 2013.
II. The remainder of this act shall take effect upon its passage.
This bill establishes civil unions, defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and submits a question about the legislation to the voters at the next general election.