The promoting the preservation of same-sex marriage in New Hampshire held a press conference today to call on the to reject a that is expected to come up for a vote on Wednesday.
More than 20 members of the leadership council of , along with family, friends, and spouses, gathered together to tell members of the press why they were involved in the group and why they believed in preserving the state’s same-sex marriage law. Attendees included many former and current Republican activists, business owners, and a former chief justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
Greg Kretschmar, the host of the Morning Buzz radio show on WGIR-FM, said for him, the issue was about personal freedom and making sure that a discriminatory law was not approved.
“Being gay is not a choice,” he said. “It’s who you are. I don’t see a gay person; I see a human being. It would be wrong for me or anyone else to try and dictate how that person lives their life. With all the issues we’re facing, two people loving each other and pledging to spend their lives together, shouldn’t be one we’re trying to stop.”
State Rep. Mike Ball, R-Manchester, the chairman of the Manchester Republican Committee, said he and others represented “a sizable amount of Republicans in the House who feel that gay marriage is a liberty issue.” Ball, who grew up in the south and attended a segregated elementary school, likened the same-sex marriage to the civil rights issues of the time period.
“This is a segregation bill,” he said.
The government should not “be micromanaging a certain group of people’s lives … that’s not acceptable,” he added.
Seacoast resident Mary Dumont, a celebrity chef who was born and raised in New Hampshire but moved back to settle and raise a family, said the most important part of her life was finding her wife Emily. She spent 38 years looking for Emily and said they were staying in the state to “live free or die,” support civil liberties and civil rights.
“To me, it doesn’t make any sense to take away that right we already have,” she said. “We have a family; we have four daughters … it’s really important that that connection every other married couple has is allotted to us. When we come together, we come together completely, just like every other married couple.”
Lew Feldstein, the co-chairman of the effort, thanked the speakers “for putting in front of us exactly why we are here.”
A large sign at the press conference noted that when surveyed, 62 percent of the state supported marriage equality. Tyler Deaton, the chief lobbyist for the organization, was asked why, if there was so much support for the law, they were not supporting the referendum amendment proposed by state Rep. David Bates, R-Windham, last week. Deaton said marriage equality “is the law of the land,” noting that nearly 2,000 couples had been married since 2009, when the law was implemented.
“We see no need to change direction,” he said. “There is no need to go back in time.”