Even NH Republicans Aren’t Down For Repeal Of Marriage Equality

Online petitions aren’t usually newsworthy but we came across one that really got us energized: Craig Stowell, a resident of New Hampshire, is appalled by HB 437, a bill before the NH House of Representatives that would undo the right of gays and lesbians to legally marry (granted in 2010). So he drafted a moving petition to send to the House and it’s already gotten more than 10,000 signatures.

But Stowell (far left in photo) isn’t just any concerned citizen—he’s the head of Standing Up for New Hampshire Families, which has launched a campaign to stop HB 437.

He’s also a Marine, a Republican, a heterosexual and the brother of a gay man.

My brother and best friend, Calvin, was tormented all the way through high school because people knew he was gay. There were nights that I worried I may wake up and he wouldn’t be there any longer; crushed by the misery he was forced to endure. When New Hampshire extended marriage to gay and lesbian couples, two years ago, he finally felt accepted. He finally felt like he belonged. Since that day 1,800 loving and committed gay and lesbian couples have married.

Today, the right to marriage is under attack in New Hampshire. If HB 437 passes, same-sex couples will no longer be allowed to marry. This mean-spirited attack is nothing more than state sponsored bullying. The bill actually goes on to allow discrimination in employment and housing based on sexuality.

When I enlisted in the Marines, I took an oath to defend freedom and liberty. In 2004, I went to Iraq to do just that. As the co-chairman for Standing Up for New Hampshire Families, I am now defending my brother’s freedom here at home, and I hope you will help me by telling legislators to vote NO on HB 437.

Two recent polls have shown that Granite Staters overwhelming support marriage equality. One poll coming from the University of New Hampshire shows support at 62 percent. It should be obvious that the majority of New Hampshire believes this is a settled issue.

When my wife Berta and I were married, Calvin was right there by my side as my best man. I want the opportunity to be his best man when he finds the person he wants to marry. With your help, I know we can ensure that freedom will still be there when he does.

Whether Stowell’s petition (and related commercial) will move the Granite State’s legislators to ditch the bill is unknown, but by speaking so loudly and clearly, he’s reminded us that we can’t make assumptions about who our allies are.

We hope the GOP presidential candidates and—New Hampshire voters—remember that Tuesday during the “Live Free or Die” state’s primary.

Photo: Craig Stowell

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  • TMikel

    This is welcome news and a hopeful sign that Republicans can see beyond the hate filled rhetoric of the GOP and tea party candidates who seek to divide Americans and who throw out wedge issues to make us forget the real problems we face – the economy, infrastructure, war, poverty, education and health care. I applaud this man’s efforts!

  • Hyhybt

    Perhaps I’m just incredibly dense… but, given the fact that New Hampshire *voters* strongly support the current marriage law, why is their legislature so dead-set against it?

  • till the world ends

    @Hyhybt: money talks bullshit walks.

  • Hyhybt

    @till the world ends: Most big money comes from corporate interests. Those couldn’t care less about gay marriage, for the most part.

  • ScottNH

    @Hyhybt Most anti-gay legislation in NH is sponsored by Republican Representative David Bates. He has launched one money-making campaign after another to defeat/repeal marriage (and to stuff his wallet no doubt) See for the latest incarnation of his obsessive-compulsive problem. Seriously, this guy thinks about gay sex more than I do. And that’s a lot. He is mentioned by name in the NOM Blogs and killing marriage will win him big with Maggie Gallagher and Tony Perkins and that whole crowd. If marriage wasn’t such a cash cow none of these bottom feeders would be involved.

  • Hyhybt

    @ScottNH: I’m just not made to understand politics… that explains why *one guy* would be pushing it, not the whole Republican delegation.

    And of course losing even a few would mean it could be vetoed.

  • Jason

    @Hyhybt: Because the newly elected GOP state senators and representatives were elected in 2010 on the backs of extremely conservative teapartiers and social conservatives. Mid-term elections are always cruel to incumbents, and the mid-term elections in 2010 were especially cruel to pro-gay Democrats.

  • ScottNH

    @Hyhybt The whole delegation isn’t pushing it, the question is how many Republicans will break rank while there’s a particularly intimidating house speaker running the show. We’ve also got the Maggie Gallaghers of the world flying in and applying the thumbscrews. Some will stand up when it’s time to vote, many others won’t offend their party bosses. There isn’t just ‘one guy’ running the show here but there are really very few local people earning their living in the anti-gay industry. They definitely don’t represent the public on this issue.

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