Gay Marriage Repeal

Standing Up for New Hampshire Families and Karen Testerman. This issue has been updated by LFDA editors.

Note: Archived October 2015 due to lack of activity. 

New Hampshire became the 5th state to legally sanction same-sex marriage when HB 436 (which states that any New Hampshire citizen "may marry any other eligible person regardless of gender,") was signed into law in June of 2009 and went into effect January 2010. In June 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell vs. Hodges declared that state laws banning same-sex marriage were unconstitutional. 

HB 436 replaced New Hampshire's 2007 civil union law.  Under the civil union law same-sex couples that entered a civil union were granted "the same rights, responsibilities, and obligations as married couples" under state law.  Effective January 1, 2011, all civil unions in the state became marriages unless otherwise dissolved, annulled or previously converted to marriage.

Proponents of same-sex marriage contend that "civil unions" don't go far enough. Civil-union laws, they argue, are based on the same "separate but equal" rationale that was once used to justify racial segregation. Only by granting same-sex unions the same status as traditional husband-and-wife unions can all citizens of New Hampshire enjoy the same rights and privileges, regardless of sexual orientation.  

Opponents of same-sex marriage (many citing religious beliefs) contend that marriage can only be a union between one man and one woman. Two people in a same-sex partnership may be entitled to the same legal rights as a husband and wife, but their relationship is not, by definition, a marriage. Further, opponents contend that extending the right of marriage to same-sex couples could threaten the rights of churches and other organizations that prohibit same-sex marriage on religious grounds. 

Update 2015:

In June 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell vs. Hodges declared that state laws banning same-sex marriage were unconstitutional. 

PROS & CONS

"For" Position

By Karen Testerman

Genuine marriage maintains policies that are best for the continuation of a civil and productive society:

  • It is scientific fact that procreation can only occur with the union of a man and a woman. The children that result are the next generation that will secure the continuation of a society. The proven best environment for children is when raised by their biological mother and father. Anything less has a high potential to be a burden on society. Counterfeit marriages, while advertised as based on love, are focused on the egos and perceived artificial rights of the individuals. There is no way for a counterfeit marriage to produce a child without bringing in another individual and thereby add confusion and burdens on society.

Every child has a mother and a father and deserves to live and be raised by them:

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    The role of the mother is no more important than the role of the father. Biologically there are physiological happenings when that child relates in the presence of each parent that are important to the healthy development of the child. When either role is missing the child will seek to fulfill that need. Most of our government support programs are in existence to help fix the fallout that occurs from fractured families.

     

Counterfeit marriages take away individual rights:

  • Creating an unnatural class and assigning rights to it denies the rights of others. We infringe on the rights of conscience of individuals that affect their income and remove free speech and association. In Massachusetts and California, parents cannot exercise their freedom to educate their children in their ideology. In Connecticut. a church cannot exercise their freedom to rent to whom they choose. In Arizona, a photographer is not allowed to exercise her freedom to provide her services to whom she chooses.

A legislature cannot grant rights:

  • America is different from any other country in the world, except Israel, because as acknowledged in our Declaration of Independence our rights come from our Creator. Our rights are not appropriated and distributed by a monarch, a dictator or and elite class. Our Creator made us male and female, and we are to be fruitful and multiply.

Government must protect the next generation:

  • When our people lack self governance, a vacuum is created and government must step in. Government needs people entering into a genuine marriage to assure that the mother AND more importantly, the father acknowledges and accepts the responsibility for their children to insure that the male who impregnates a woman is responsible for the woman and is also responsible for the well being of their children.

Marriage is the economic engine of our society:

  • When a married mother and father raise the children they produce, the children are healthier and less likely to be involved with law enforcement or become an unwed mother. These factors alone put less of a financial burden on society. 70% of the boys in juvenile justice have no father in the home. When a person graduates from high school, gets a full time job and gets married before they have children, they are 70% less likely to be in poverty.

"Against" Position

By Standing Up for New Hampshire Families

Repeal harms children and families:

  • Same-sex marriage benefits children immensely.  Children being raised by loving, committed same-sex parents deserve the same benefits as children of married heterosexual parents.  By keeping the freedom to marry law intact, the state of New Hampshire ensures that all children will be protected and enjoy all the same rights as children of heterosexual couples.  These rights include, identical naming conventions, inheritance, the right to be covered by each parents' health insurance and familial benefits such as being accepted by the community at large, emotional support and feeling safe and secure within a stable family structure.  A repeal of this law would leave children unprotected.  They are the most vulnerable and needy in our society and should feel loved and welcomed in the community.

We don't take away rights:

  • Marriage is a fundamental human right.  By repealing the freedom to marry, the government would be denying gay and lesbian couples the legal benefits of marriage (i.e. rights in probate and health-care matters).  This is unjust discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  The government must provide all couples equal protection under the law.

  • Taking away the freedom to marry is against long held New Hampshire values such as freedom and liberty.  A repeal would take away rights from some of our citizens and not others.  This is unethical. Civil unions separate and classify our gay and lesbian residents in a separate, unequal category.

  • There was not one heterosexual marriage or any citizens harmed by this law.  It has only benefited residents and allowed loving, committed same-sex couples to be married just like heterosexual couples.  These citizens are our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, neighbors, friends, family members, co-workers and so on.  Live Free of Die is more than a slogan; it is a way of life in New Hampshire.  A repeal of the freedom to marry would take away citizens' rights and is the ultimate government intrusion in our lives.

    Bad for Business:

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      We know the graying of New Hampshire is an issue. We are one of the oldest states in the country and must do a better job of keeping young people here.  The freedom to marry is extremely popular with the younger generation and a majority of people under 30 recognize and accept same-sex marriage.  Businesses in other states have acknowledged the competitive advantage to reside in a state with marriage equality to attract a talented young vibrant workforce.  A repeal would harm businesses and burden them with new rules and regulations, lawsuits and valuable resources being spent on redrafting company policies.  It would damage the reputation of New Hampshire to be the first state to repeal a law that granted equal rights to all citizens. It would have a negative impact on the tourism trade, would deter new settlers to the state, and contradict New Hampshire's long held "Live Free or Die" heritage promoting individual freedom and liberty.

    LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    Interim Study

    Constitutional amendment prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

    Signed by Governor

    Requires New Hampshire to recognize same-sex marriages performed out-of-state, and makes various legal terms gender-neutral.

    Killed in the House

    Prohibits same-sex marriage.

    Killed in the House

    Establishes that the state will only recognize domestic unions between one man and one woman.

    Signed by Governor

    Legalizes same-sex marriage.

    Should NH repeal same-sex marriage?

    FOR
    REPRESENTATIVES

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    UNDECIDED
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    AGAINST
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    Comments

    Darius Paquette
    - Ossipee

    Sat, 02/23/2013 - 9:56pm

    These are my thoughts on gay marriage.

    If two men or women go into the bedroom to make a family. they will both die, without one. Marriage is all about family.

    Should they have the same rights, I would say yes, they can love each other, but cannot make a family. thus not a marriage.

    A union, a civil union. they would have the same rights, and that's what they wanted. Now they want it to be called marriage. They want it to be normal, so they can feel good about what they are doing.

    I am sorry but,a man's penis does not belong in another man's anus. How can you call that normal?

    johns97's picture
    John Sullivan
    - Methuen

    Wed, 02/27/2013 - 9:58pm

    You've clearly given much more thought to what other men do with their respective body parts than I have. Similarly, I don't consider myself the arbiter of what constitutes "normal."

    Other people's relationships, either gay or straight, have little to no impact on my life, so I resist the impulse to judge them in any fashion, but that's simply my approach to life. Good luck with yours.

    jenniferc's picture
    Jennifer Coffey
    - Andover

    Thu, 07/12/2012 - 12:26am

    This issue has been brought up time and time again, it goes back and forth between acceptance and no acceptance and the legislative body has set in motion a ping pong ball with people's lives. 

    It is for this reason that we should get the government out of the pulpits of faith, to each their own faith as it is their natural and unalienable right to worship and practice according to their own conscience.  This means that ministers, priests, pastors, rabbis, and all those who lead their faithful have the right to perform their religious ceremonies without the intrusion of government.

    If not which faith wins in this debate?  Do Catholics trump reformed Jews, or Baptist trump universal Unitarians?  Who gets to be in the front of the bus and who is relegated to the back?

    If we are truly a nation of religious freedom then we need to stop trying to control what religions practice and get out of the personal lives of the people.

    kevink's picture
    Kevin Kervick
    - Portsmouth

    Wed, 07/11/2012 - 12:52am

    Which is a trap set by Progressives who wish to paint those that are against gay marriage as religious zealots.

    My position on marriage is thus:

    I believe the marriage between a man and a woman is the primary building block of a healthy community. Society has an investment in privileging this complimentary relationship because it provides an essential public good. Unfortunately, state laws sometimes undermine the marriage institution rather than reinforce its value. I will vote for bills that strengthen this important institution and against bills that I believe would undermine the institution of marriage.

    I have worked extensively as a marriage and family therapist and community builder to promote healthy marriages as an integral aspect of healthy communities. Marriage is a protective factor that reduces the incidence of poverty, intimate partner violence, child abuse, substance abuse, and child anti-social behavior. I have helped many couples avoid the tragedy of divorce. I have also helped people in abusive marriages find their way out of them when that is the only alternative. Rebuilding a healthy marriage culture in New Hampshire and the United States is at the top of my list of priorities because I believe it would solve many of our nation’s problems.

    I believe it is still important to take a stand in favor or preserving one-man one-woman marriage. I love and respect my gay friends and family members, and respect the opinions of those that see this as a civil rights issue. While I do not support changing the definition of marriage to include gay and lesbian partnerships, I do support full legal partnerships (civil unions) for any consenting adults.

    Kevin Kervick - Candidate for State Representative, District 30, Portsmouth

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    Note: Archived October 2015 due to lack of activity. 

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