Press Releases

 

Friday
May152009

Senate Republican Statement on Governor Lynch's Gay Marriage Proposal 

Concord, NH – Today, Senate Minority Leader Peter Bragdon (R-Milford) issued the following statement in response to Governor Lynch’s gay marriage proposal:

 

"It appears Governor Lynch has flip-flopped on gay marriage. After saying for years that marriage should be between a man and a woman, he has issued a last-minute proposal to allow for gay marriage in New Hampshire. The gay marriage bill has been in front of the Legislature for five months, yet we always find ourselves looking at last-minute changes.”

 

“True leadership on this issue would involve making one's opinions known early in the process."

 

Gay marriage legislation (HB 436) was introduced on January 8, 2009 and has moved through the House and Senate. The bill is awaiting action from Governor Lynch.

 

Friday
May152009

Office of Congresswoman Shea-Porter - Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai Urged to Protect the Rights of Women in Afghanistan 

WASHINGTON – Upon returning from an informative and productive trip to Afghanistan, a bipartisan delegation of female Members of Congress sent a letter to Afghanistan President, Hamid Karzai, expressing their deep concern about the treatment of women and erosion of their rights in Afghanistan under the Shiite Personal Status Law recently passed by the National Assembly. The delegation was in Afghanistan on a fact-finding mission over the May 9 and 10 weekend.

 

The delegation emphasized in the letter:

 

“This law has raised a furor, both among the Afghan public and the international community, because of its blatant violation of the fundamental human rights of women. The Shiite Personal Status Law legalizes marital rape, undermines womens’ parental rights in divorce proceedings, and restricts their rights to movement. While you have stated that the government is reviewing the law, it could be published and go into effect at any time. Therefore, we urge you to immediately act to amend the bill by removing the offensive sections before publication. This decisive action will alleviate the current fear and uncertainty as the August elections approach.”

 

“A key component to the stabilization and prosperity of Afghanistan is the full respect of women’s rights,” said Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee. “Progress is difficult, if not impossible, if half of the nation’s population is placed at a significant disadvantage. I hope that President Karzai will recognize this and take steps to protect the rights of Afghan women and include more women in the rebuilding of the Afghanistan.”

 

“Our troops are working hard every day to ensure that Afghanistan becomes a free and stable ally that will be a force for peace in the region rather than a staging ground for attacks on U.S. soil,” said U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL-13), who has worked personally with Afghan women for several years. “Protecting the rights of these women is critical to ensuring that we meet that goal and don’t turn back the clock on the progress we have made. President Karzai must immediately rescind this abhorrent law. Women in Afghanistan deserve to know that their daughters will grow up in a culture of dignity, security, and basic freedoms.”

 

“As a full partner in the international community, the Afghan government must respect women’s rights,” said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), Vice Chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. “The Shiite Personal Status Law is dangerous– it instills fear and trepidation in women by sending the message they are worth less than their male counterparts, have no right to determine their own future, and worse yet, must forfeit their rights over their own bodies. While we must support Afghanistan as it builds the infrastructure and institutions that will allow the country to more effectively engage the global community, we must also insist that the government respect the rights of all people.”

 

“A nation cannot recover if fifty percent of the population is unable to participate in their country’s future,” said Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH). “After visiting Afghanistan and meeting with local women and girls, I remain deeply concerned about the lack of women’s rights throughout the country. I urge President Karzai to immediately rescind the Shiite Personal Status Law and to stand up for the women of Afghanistan.”

 

“I join my colleagues in urging Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai to take significant and immediate steps to protect the rights of Afghan women,” said Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD). “I was moved by the courage of the women with whom we met -- the mothers, sisters, and daughters who struggle each day under the most difficult of circumstances. The rights of women must be protected if Afghanistan is to become a prosperous and secure nation. I thank Chairwoman Davis for her leadership in organizing this Congressional delegation.”

 

“Our mission in Afghanistan is to disrupt terrorist networks and stop the spread of the Taliban,” said Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ). “But at the same time, President Karzai and the democratically-elected leadership of the country must do all they can to recognize and respect the women of Afghanistan and integrate them as equal members of their society.”

 

The full text of the letter is below:

 

May 14, 2009

His Excellency Hamid Karzai

President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Presidential Palace

Kabul. Afghanistan

 

Dear Mr. President,

 

As members of a bi-partisan Congressional delegation who recently visited Afghanistan over the May 9 and 10 weekend, we valued our time in your country and found it to be an informative and productive visit. However, we were deeply concerned to learn that your government has not rescinded the Shiite Personal Status Law that was passed by the National Assembly and you signed in April of this year.

 

This law has raised a furor, both among the Afghan public and the international community, because of its blatant violation of the fundamental human rights of women. The Shiite Personal Status Law legalizes marital rape, undermines womens’ parental rights in divorce proceedings, and restricts their rights to movement. While you have stated that the government is reviewing the law, it could be published and go into effect at any time. Therefore, we urge you to immediately act to amend the bill by removing the offensive sections before publication. This decisive action will alleviate the current fear and uncertainty as the August elections approach.

 

During our trip, we met with many Afghan women, from elected leaders to representatives of advocacy groups to average citizens. Many of them face violence in their own homes. Their voices are often not heard in the discussions that affect the future development of your country. As women representatives in the United States Congress, we have concluded that it is imperative that under your leadership, Afghanistan takes more concrete and substantial steps toward including women in the development of laws, programs and policies that are important to the future stability of your nation.

 

Women around the world seek the same goals—ensuring that their families are safe and secure; they have the ability to feed and clothe their families; have access to education for themselves and their children, and are able to receive health care when needed. Unfortunately, the security situation in most of Afghanistan does not allow women to feel safe or secure as they work to provide for the basic needs for themselves and their families. Mr. President, this situation must change if Afghanistan is to have a chance for a prosperous and secure nation that will be recognized and respected among the international community.

 

Members of the United States Congress share our views, and a resolution expressing their concerns with the Shiite Personal Status Law has been introduced. We look forward to working with you.

 

Sincerely,

 

Susan A. Davis, Judy Biggert, Diana DeGette, Carol Shea-Porter, Donna F. Edwards, Ann Kirkpatrick

Members of Congress

Friday
May152009

NH GOP - LYNCH PUTS "POLITICS" OVER "PRINCIPLE" 

“It is obvious from his statement this afternoon that Gov. John Lynch has made a calculated political decision on the gay marriage bill. Whether or not the Legislature goes along with the changes he seeks, and we think it will, the fact is that Lynch has decided that politics wins over principle.”

 

-Union Leader On Governor Lynch’s Politically Motivated Same-Sex Marriage Flip-Flop

 

 

Gov. “Flinch” Lets Down New Hampshire

Union Leader

By Joseph McQuaid

May 14, 2009

 

It is obvious from his statement this afternoon that Gov. John Lynch has made a calculated political decision on the gay marriage bill. Whether or not the Legislature goes along with the changes he seeks, and we think it will, the fact is that Lynch has decided that politics wins over principle.

 

That must be a great disappointment to the people of New Hampshire, no matter on what side of this issue they find themselves.

As this newspaper has pointed out, Lynch has said repeatedly that he believes the institution of marriage is and should be preserved for one man and one woman. Civil unions, which Lynch signed, cover any legal question of equity for homosexual couples. Protecting marriage is not a question of equity.

 

Neither Lynch nor the Democratic legislative majority embraced gay marriage as a campaign issue. The legislators were largely silent. Lynch gave every indication that he was opposed, as a matter of deep-seated belief.

 

Now, he has decided there are votes on both sides of this issue and he is trying to get them both, giving himself cover with his request for changes in the bill. But the fact remains that he thinks he can get away with this waffling position and still win a record-breaking fourth term next year.

 

We don’t think so. We think Gov. “Flinch,’’ as we heard him described the other day, has just lost, big time.

 

CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY

 

Friday
May152009

Daily Grind: The SEIU--A Case Study in Corruption 

The SEIU: A Case Study in Corruption
Behind the scenes, the SEIU has a long history of bullying tactics to get what it wants.

 

The United Fiefdoms of America
For the first time ever, federal aid—not property, sales or income tax—is the top revenue source for state budgets.

 

Caught Green Handed
"Green" jobs will not only plunge the American economy even deeper into the red, they will leave the American worker blue—with a future painted black.

 

Obama's Spending Blueprint
Frontpage Magazine reports that "just like gravity, the laws of economics are insurmountable."

 

Friday
May152009

NH DHHS - NH Senior Volunteers Honored at State House Ceremony

Concord, NH – At an afternoon ceremony at the State House, Governor John Lynch and Health and Human Services Commissioner (DHHS) Nicholas Toumpas joined with the State Committee on Aging (SCOA) to honor recipients of the 2009 Vaughan Awards. Each year the State and SCOA recognize a couple or individual from each county who are 60 or older and have demonstrated outstanding leadership and volunteer service on behalf of senior citizens across New Hampshire.

 

“Today we are celebrating the accomplishments of these individuals who have helped to make a difference in their communities,” said Governor John Lynch. “The efforts of these individuals makes a positive impact on the lives of so many New Hampshire citizens and helps to make our state a great place.”

 

Ten individuals were honored at the celebration. SCOA Chair Dr. Owen Houghton and DHHS’ Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services (BEAS) Administrator Kathleen Otte presented the winners with their awards. The awards were initiated in 1962 in memory of Joseph D. Vaughan. Vaughan, a New Hampshire legislator was an early advocate of the elderly and was instrumental in creating a State agency dedicated to the well being of senior citizens.

 

“Our senior volunteers play a vital role in our communities,” said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas, “they bring a lifetime of experience to the organizations they volunteer for; volunteering in turn provides them with an opportunity to stay connected to the communities where they’ve lived and raised their families.”

 

This year’s Vaughan Award recipients are:

 

Belknap County – Charles Safford (deceased)

Carroll County – Barbara Hoyt

Cheshire County – Mary L. Johnson

Coos County – Susan Papstein

Grafton County – Bertha Farnham

Hillsborough County – Beverly Arel

Merrimack County – Ernest Noyes

Rockingham County – Norma St. Germain

Strafford County – Arlene Reynolds

Sullivan County – William “Bill” Hoyt