Allies Speak Out As Marriage Equality Fights Endure Across Country
February 16, 2011 by HRC staff
In the past few weeks, we’ve seen a wide-range of people speak out for equality. Nineteen year-old college student Zach Wahls, who was raised by his two moms. Eighty year-old Iowa grandmother Jean, who passionately spoke against discrimination.
And now, a conservative Marine in New Hampshire sends an open letter to a local newspaper advocating for his gay brother. In his letter, Craig Stowell writes: “As a former Marine, I take freedom and liberty very seriously. And as a conservative, I find the effort to take away marriage from loving gay and lesbian couples not only wrong, but completely off task….No real conservative believes government should be managing the lives of any decent law-abiding citizen of New Hampshire.
My brother is finally happy and comfortable with who he is. I am so proud of the man he has become, and no one has the right to take away his freedom to marry.” Equality isn’t an age-gap issue. It isn’t a liberal versus conservative issue, or an urban versus rural issue. Supporting equality is the human thing to do, and the stories we’re hearing from Zach, Jean and Craig demonstrate how anti-gay rhetoric can impact families – but they also show how love and rational thought are some of the best ways to combat discrimination. Craig’s letter also makes some practical points – he says the people of New Hampshire sent their legislators to Concord to “fix our economy, create jobs and manage the state budget.” Craig’s right. At a time of economic uncertainty and unemployment, lawmakers would be wasting precious time by choosing to instead focus their energies on striping committed couples of their right to marry. There are numbers to back this up – a recent poll found 63 percent of New Hampshire residents don’t want to see marriage equality repealed. The strong support for marriage equality and ongoing economic crisis aren’t stopping lawmakers from focusing on repeal – tomorrow, the New Hampshire House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on two bills, HB 437 and HB 443, that would reverse marriage equality. Check out the full PDF of Craig’s letter.
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