NH House Speaker Responds to Cilley Attacks on Religious Freedom

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) today offered the following response on remarks made Thursday by Democrat gubernatorial candidate Jackie Cilley. 

House Speaker William O’Brien

“Cilley’s misguided, Ahab-like quest to implement ObamaCare in New Hampshire has reached an all-time, shocking low. Asking Catholics to abandon their religion in favor of her leftist ideology is unnecessary, cynical, unconstitutional and completely contrary to the tenants this country was founded upon. Cilley should apologize to Catholics and reconsider her race for Governor.

Her Obama tactics of dividing the voters by using vitriol and hatred is not the New Hampshire way and not what our citizens need. New Hampshire has a long and proud history of support for religious tolerance and there was a time not too long ago when this principle was not a partisan issue. In fact, it was the late Sen. Ted Kennedy who wrote that he believed in and would continue to advocate for a conscience protection for Catholics in the health field.

Cilley’s attacks on Rep. Lynne Blankenbeker, who is both a war veteran and a nurse, were uncalled for and inappropriate. Rep. Blankenbeker has been a tremendous role model for women across New Hampshire in serving her constituents and her country. We can have an honest and full debate without needing to resort to distortions such as any allegation that this is about denying women’s health or is an anti-contraception issue and without denying our citizens their constitutional First Amendment right of freedom of religion.”