Rep Bettencourt Responds to Attack by NOM

Earlier today the National Organization for Marriage released a direct mail piece attacking me in my legislative district for not including gay marriage repeal on our agenda. I repeat what I have said to my constituents: As a practicing Catholic, someone with a strong moral sense of right and wrong, and as someone who has voted against same sex marriage, my belief is that marriage is the union between one man and one woman. That being said, I’d like to quote one of my favorite Biblical verses, “To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven.”

At this time, it is my conviction that the focus of our majority must be to right our economic ship of state. We have a nearly $1 billion deficit that must be addressed immediately and our citizens are suffering through the worst recession in recent times. Our focus must be on getting them back to work during this budget year.

I would point out that our agenda does advocate for enacting a parental notification law that will strengthen families and be a step forward in protecting the sanctity of the unborn. However, given the scope of the economic problem we face and the significance of the challenges, we necessarily had to make some very tough choices on the agenda. That’s leadership. An agenda that attempts to stand for everything ultimately stands for nothing. To be clear, despite the fact that repeal was not on the agenda, the legislation has been filed and it will be acted upon during this legislation session at the appropriate time. Therefore, the accusation that the issue is not going to be addressed is inaccurate.

The ignorant attack upon me by the National Organization for Marriage is unfortunate but it does not deter me from my conviction that our focus must be on the budget and deficit and that gay marriage repeal should be taken up at a later, more appropriate time. At the bottom of this email, I am enclosing a copy of a letter that I sent to Speaker O'Brien earlier today with regard to this matter.  Have a great weekend.  I hope to see you all at the caucus next Wednesday.   

All the best,

D.J. Bettencourt 


Speaker William L. O’Brien

New Hampshire House of Representatives

January 21, 2011

Dear Mr. Speaker,

I was deeply disappointed to learn this morning that the National Organization for Marriage sent out a direct mailer to my legislative district blindsiding me and stating among other things that on the issue of same sex marriage that I “stand with Governor Lynch and do not support traditional family values.” This mailer has resulted from the Majority Office’s announcement of the Republican agenda last week and the fact that same sex marriage was not included on that agenda.

The National Organization for Marriage and its supporters in New Hampshire know very well that legislation dealing with this issue has been filed and will take its appropriate legislative course. However, this recent development by an out of state lobbying organization underscores my belief, a belief which is reinforced from my meetings over the holidays with the majority of our caucus, that same sex marriage remains a deeply controversial issue. This assault on our agenda has the potential to take important focus and energy away from our focus on the budget. Therefore, it is my belief that the same sex marriage repeal must be retained in the Judiciary Committee this year so that our full and undivided attention is focused on New Hampshire’s outstanding financial issues.

My office will state this position clearly in testimony before the committee when the bill is heard and we will urge the members of the Judiciary Committee to vote the same. The Majority Office would appreciate your support on this important matter.  


Rep. D.J. Bettencourt
Majority Leader