Ken Mehlman: “Stripping The Right To Marry Is Bad Policy” In NH

“Live Free or Die” isn’t just the official motto for a great state. As the 62nd Republican National Committee Chairman, I think it’s a mantra our party should live by. I hope that New Hampshire legislators will remember this slogan and reject proposals to strip citizens of their right to marry.

The party of Lincoln and Reagan should stand first and foremost for freedom. It’s part of our heritage and ought to be part of our DNA. Freedom for Americans of all races is why our party was founded. And our greatest moments — from the unbelievable economic recovery unleashed by lower taxes and less regulation to the fall of the Berlin Wall — resulted when we promoted freedom.

Stripping away the right of adults in New Hampshire to marry the person they love is antithetical to freedom. If we really believe (and we should) that every citizen is endowed by their creator with the right to pursue happiness, shouldn’t this include the right to marriage? If we believe in limited government, how can we justify expanding the authority of the state to take away this most personal, fundamental right? Aren’t politicians already too involved in too much of our lives? Why would we want to expand government to such a personal space?

Allowing New Hampshire citizens to marry the person they love isn’t just consistent with maximizing freedom. It also promotes responsibility, commitment and stability; it promotes family values. Again, our history provides a good road map: One of our party’s finest hours was the passage of welfare reform because it strengthened families and promoted marriage. Why would we want to take away this right from anyone?

New Hampshire’s civil marriage law protects religious freedom. No religious institution has to perform or recognize same-sex marriages. This is important because different religious traditions have different views on this question.

But despite these differences, so many of our faiths and traditions are rooted in the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would want done to you. Isn’t allowing adults to marry the person they love consistent with the Golden Rule? If you were born gay (as I was), how would you feel if your state government took away this basic civil right that is available to all of your neighbors? How would you feel if you were a young person and were told by your state that the loving and stabilizing relationship you see in your mom and dad would never be available to you?

During my time in politics, I always believed that good policy is good politics. Looking at the views of New Hampshire voters, it’s pretty clear that stripping the right to marry is bad policy and bad politics. Sixty-two percent of New Hampshire voters oppose taking away the right to marry.

I will be in New Hampshire this week — to urge legislative members of my party to reject House Bill 437. It’s time to stand up for individual freedom and liberty, to live by the Golden Rule and to oppose any effort to diminish or strip away individual rights, and to return to the real business of building business, keeping taxes down and growing our economy. “Live Free or Die” should be more than just a slogan.

Former Republican National Committee chair Ken Mehlman, attacking upcoming legislation that would overturn marriage equality, in an open letter to GOP legislators.

Photo: Out/Gavin Bond

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  • Mike in Asheville

    Hypocrisy knows no bounds:

    Ken Mehlman today: “During my time in politics, I always believed that good policy is good politics.” “If we really believe (and we should) that every citizen is endowed by their creator with the right to pursue happiness, shouldn’t this include the right to marriage?”

    Ken Mehlman yesteryear: Chairman of GOP and chairman of Bush Reelection: Put same-sex marriage up for a vote, a vote for NO, a vote to ensure higher Repugnantan voter turn-out, a vote to disenfranchise gays/lesbians of their rights to further Mehlman political career and get W. reelected.

    Ken Mehlman is a piece of shit KAPO, and in my view will always be a piece of shit KAPO, no matter how involved he gets marriage equity fights today, will erase the vile deeds of his past. Let the blood on your hands reamin, ken, until you publicly repudiate your very own actions against your and our LGBT community.

    If Mehlman were sincere, he would adopt the great Nelson Mandela’s concept that forgiveness require truth before reconciliation. Tell the truth Ken, tell the plans, nothing would promote marriage-equity faster and stronger than having the awful, yet truthful, anti-gay politics exposed. I won’t hold my breath, once a Kapo, always a kapo.


    Okay, getting ready for the GOProud crowd to defend Mehlman, yada yada yada. But my consistency remains: Barney Frank is also a huge hypocrite, still deserving a kapo designation, for me too, a fucking politician, is the only openly gay serving member of Congress who VOTED FOR DADT back in 1993.

  • tj

    Whatever go jump off a bridge. Hypocrite doesn’t even began to describe it.

  • Freddie

    So easy to say when you’re no longer risking anything.

  • Robert in NYC

    “Unbelievable economic recovery by lower taxes to the fall of the Berlin wall? Is he for real? So what happened to our economy when corporations had their taxes lowered to the lowest in history under Bush 43? 4 million jobs in 8 years doesn’t say much. Germany’s corporations pay far higher taxes and its economy ends in a net surplus annually and are second only to China in exports, exporting more than it imports. When Clinton left office with a net surplus of more than $237 billion dollars, more than 22 million domestic jobs had been created.

    As for the fall of the Berlin wall, this was already happening without any influence of the U.S. government. These people sure love rewriting history especially if they’re republicans. Mehlman needs to do some indepth reading.

  • Cam

    My opinion of Melhmen,

    I’ll think kindly of him, when all of the damage he did is repaired. This is a good first step but he has a ways to go.

  • tjr101

    Oh what a vituous individual this Ken Mehlman is. *sarcasm*

  • Steve

    I can’t say I completely forgive the guy, but I won’t attack him either. He at least seems to be TRYING to do some good, and perhaps having him drum up some support in the Republican party wouldn’t be a bad thing. He clearly has a history speaking the Reoublican’s “language”. An ally is an ally, no matter their party.

  • Riker

    @Steve: Agreed. This is a clear, concise argument that as a Republican, had I been on the fence about gay marriage I would respond to it. This sort of freedom/independence based argument is exactly the thing New England Republicans understand and value, and touches on some of the history of the Republican party for good measure. If it is published widely enough, in newspapers and talk radio and television, I could easily see it swaying the opinions of New Englanders, who are naturally an open-minded and very independent folk.

  • SteveC

    This Mehlman person remains a scumbag.

    The damage he knowingly and willingly inflicted on our community cannot be erased.

Comments are closed.