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posted Friday, March 16, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 11
REPUBLICAN MARINE FIGHTS FOR GAY BROTHER AS SAME-SEX MARRIAGE REPEAL VOTE IS SCHEDULED IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
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REPUBLICAN MARINE FIGHTS FOR GAY BROTHER AS SAME-SEX MARRIAGE REPEAL VOTE IS SCHEDULED IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

 

  • NH resident and Iraq vet Craig Stowell launched campaign on Change.org urging New Hampshire state legislature to oppose repeal of same-sex marriage

  • NH legislature to take up repeal bill on Wednesday as 120,000 people sign Stowell's petition


CONCORD, NH - As the New Hampshire state legislature prepares for a vote on the repeal of the state's same-sex marriage law on Wednesday, more than 120,000 people across the country have joined a popular campaign on Change.org started by a conservative Iraq veteran from Claremont. The campaign urges the New Hampshire state legislature to defend the freedom to marry for all couples.

Craig Stowell, a former Marine and co-chair of Standing Up For New Hampshire Families, is leading the campaign on Change.org urging New Hampshire state legislators to oppose H.B. 437, a bill to repeal same-sex marriage that legislators will vote on Wednesday, March 21. Craig started the campaign for his openly gay brother, Calvin, who he calls his best friend.

I started this campaign for one simple reason, so that my brother and best friend, Calvin, can have the freedom to marry the person he loves, said Stowell. We only have days left to ensure that this mean-spirited attack does not deny thousands of Granite State residents the ability to protect and provide for their families.

An overwhelming majority of New Hampshire voters of all political backgrounds agree that it's time for Concord to start focusing on the economy and jobs, and stop the blind-sided attacks on hard-working, committed families, Stowell added.

Recent polls have shown that New Hampshire residents overwhelmingly support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, with a poll from the University of New Hampshire Survey Center showing support at 59 percent. New Hampshire became the sixth state in the nation to extend marriage to gay and lesbian couples when the law went into effect on January 1, 2010.

Stowell launched his campaign on Change.org in January as legislators in New Hampshire announced they would try to repeal the state's same-sex marriage law.

Craig's campaign has resonated not only with thousands of New Hampshire residents, but with more than 120,000 people across the country, said Mark Anthony Dingbaum, campaign manager at Change.org. Craig won't stop defending his brother, and his campaign is inspiring thousands of others to stand up for the people they love as well.

Live signature totals from Craig Stowell's campaign on Change.org:
http://www.change.org/petitions/new-hampshire-state-legislators-dont-repeal-the-freedom-to-marry

CNN.com coverage of Craig Stowell's campaign on Change.org:
http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/12/marine-fights-for-gay-brothers-right-to-marry/

Journalists interested in contacting New Hampshire state house leadership should try:

Rep. William OBrien, Speaker, New Hampshire House of Representatives

william.obrien@leg.state.nh.us

(603) 271-3661


Rep. DJ Bettencourt, Majority Leader, New Hampshire House of Representatives

betts24@gmail.com

(603) 271-3665


Rep. David Bates, Sponsor, Marriage repeal bill (H.B. 437)

rep.bates@live.com

(603) 271-3319


Quotes from New Hampshire residents signing Craig Stowell's campaign on Change.org:
"My son Kyle is gay, but that's the least interesting thing about him. He is a Yale student with a 3.9 average who is fluent in Middle Egyptian and three other languages; as a high school student he helped pass a NH resolution to use green bags instead of paper/plastic; he runs a children's theater group in CT for underserved kids; he competes in ballroom dance. Kyle is the smartest person I know, yet if this repeal passes, he will be a second-class citizen in the state where he grew up. He won't choose to live his adult life here, because he'll feel discriminated against. Surely this isn't how the state wants to treat some of its best and its brightest young people?" - Jodi Picoult, Hanover, NH

I am married. My wife and I have been together for almost 20 years. Should I tell my children that the state has decided, once again, that their other mother doesn't have any legal right to her family and home? I wonder what kind of impact that will have on family values? - Theresa Robertson, Concord, NH

"I was raised by a lesbian and I came out a good person. No one should have the right to tell someone who they can marry." - Ryan Bourassa, Nashua, NH

"I am the mother of two young boys, and an auntie to 12 nieces and nephews. I have lived in NH most of my 40 years. I am heterosexual and married to the man I love. To me it is quite simple. All I have to do is look at my children and my nieces and nephews to know that if any of them is gay, then I would want them to have the same rights as heterosexuals. I want my children to grow up proud of who they are and not feel the pain of prejudice. I am a practicing Catholic and I believe in equality for EVERYONE." - Maureen DiOrio, Concord, NH

"I am signing as a teacher who has the privilege of teaching my students about our country's history, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Denying rights for such a superficial reason runs counter to all they understand about their country. I am also signing as a close friend to many gay and lesbian couples, married and wishing to marry. And finally, I am signing as the mother of a young gay man who is in a caring relationship." - Deborah Bacon Nelson, Hanover, NH

"Equal rights for all. Not to mention this bill is a waste of my tax dollars. Try fixing the state budget and spend the time and energy on real issues!" - Anthony Piacenza, Manchester, NH

"Elected Officials of the State of NH---hear us now. Economy. Education. Employment. These are the things your residents are concerned with. Why are you wasting time and energy trying to resuscitate this proverbial lifeless equine? We as a society do not have the power to mandate whom someone should marry so, conversely, we do not have the power to mandate whom someone CANNOT marry. Attempting to legislate these things is arrogant and wrong and Im ashamed of this effort. All eyes are on us, guys...we can show the rest of the nation how this is supposed to be done. Stop using gay marriage as a political agenda item and get back to the real issues at hand." - Brenda LeClaire, Manchester, NH

"New Hampshire prides itself on being first in the nation for the electoral primary. While we were not the absolute first state to legalize marriage between any loving couple, regardless the individuals' gender, we should nevertheless feel proud to be among the front runners of freedom in this legal struggle against discrimination, homophobia, and hatred. Upholding the current legislation, and allowing all loving couples the freedom to pursue the happiness of marital domesticity, is part and parcel of the core values of this nation. It is part of our state's motto: Let us, be we straight, be we gay, be we bisexual, be we male, be we female, retain the right to live free to marry whom we would." - Andrew McKernan, Dover, NH

"No one has the right to tell others who they can love. All should share in equal rights. I am a strong support of the Freedom To Marry." - Linda Campbell, Salem, NH

"The government should stay out of the personal lives of its citizens and allow equal rights and treatment to all persons." - Dr. Warren Schwartz, Concord, NH

"Marriage in the eyes of the state is a right that must be available to all if we are to 'live free'. So too is the right under the law of any religious organization to recognize/bless or not recognize/bless such a union. It is the responsibility of our government to protect these fundamental rights - and to ensure that they are separate and distinct from each other." - Kathryn Saunders, Portsmouth, NH

"I've lived in NH all my life, and I've always been proud to live here. I'm signing so I can continue to say I'm a proud citizen of New Hampshire. Don't repeal the law!" - Angela Messier, Nashua, NH

New Hampshire took a great step forward with its marriage equality law. Reversing that would be a grievous mistake and would be detrimental to countless families. - Zachary Higham, Concord, NH

Contact information for petition signers in your area can be arranged upon request:

Mike Jones

Deputy Campaign Director, Change.org

press@change.org

(202) 684-2552


For more information on Craig Stowells group, Standing Up for New Hampshire Families, please visit:
http://action.standingupfornhfamilies.org/Craig
Standing Up for New Hampshire Families is a bipartisan group of citizens, business owners, people of faith, and civic leaders who oppose repealing the popular 2009 law allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. Lew Feldstein, former president and chief executive officer of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and Craig Stowell, a former Marine who served in Iraq, serve as co-chairs.

For more information on Change.org, please visit:
http://www.change.org/about
Change.org is the world's fastest-growing platform for social change - growing by one million new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.

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