Press Releases


Entries in Gay Agenda (202)


NHDP Memo to GOP Presidential Hopefuls 


To: GOP Presidential Hopefuls

From: New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley

Welcome to New Hampshire! We hope you enjoy your time here, but we want to warn you that you may find yourselves less than pleased with our inclusive, bipartisan policies that have made the Granite State a wonderful place to live.

Paycheck fairness

Just this past year, our governor, Governor Hassan, signed a bipartisan Paycheck Fairness Act, which will level the playing field for countless women across New Hampshire. Last Tuesday was equal pay day, and it was an especially proud day for New Hampshire this year.

Because you’re all pandering to the extreme right in your party, we imagine our new law makes you feel pretty uncomfortable. This is what we know about you and your take on equal pay:

  • Jeb Bush stated that he did not know what the Paycheck Fairness Act was when he was asked about it.

  • Chris Christie vetoed equal pay legislation calling it “senseless bureaucracy.”

  • Rick Perry vetoed an equal pay law and said focusing on the issue was “nonsense.”

  • Scott Walker repealed an equal pay law saying it was a “bogus issue.”

  • Marco Rubio said the Paycheck Fairness Act was about “scoring political points,” “wasting time,” and a “show vote.”  

  • Rand Paul compared the Paycheck Fairness Act to the Soviet Politburo.

Same-sex marriage

New Hampshire has been proud to allow same-sex couples to marry here since our marriage equality law passed in 2009. We know that the marriage equality in our state has made us stronger. But we also know that your stances on marriage equality are out of the mainstream and­ would move our country backwards. We find your views on same-sex marriage wrong, and in some cases, totally bizarre.

  • Jeb Bush not only opposes marriage equality, he even said a federal constitutional amendment preventing same-sex marriage was “the right thing”

  • Rand Paul doesn’t believe in the concept of gay rights, because, as he puts it, “I don’t really believe in rights based on your behavior.”

  • Scott Walker has doubled down on his opposition to same-sex marriage and pledges to fight against the legalization of gay marriage.

  • Marco Rubio is opposed to same-sex marriage, helped raise money for an abusive “ex-gay therapy” organization, and has said that he thinks gay adoption is a social experiment.

  • Ted Cruz proposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would keep gay marriage out of states that didn’t allow it

  • Chris Christie has said he is “not a fan” of same-sex marriage, and even vetoed same-sex marriage legislation in New Jersey hours after it was passed.

  • Bobby Jindal supported a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, and held a prayer rally sponsored by a group that tied Hurricane Katrina to the rising approval of same-sex marriage.

  • Rick Perry supported a federal marriage amendment and compared homosexuality to alcoholism.

Anti-discrimination legislation

In New Hampshire we’re also proud to have legislation on the books – for about 20 years actually – that prevents discrimination against individuals based on who they love.

We imagine that might alarm you, based on the discriminatory stances you’ve taken:

  • Mike Pence of Indiana’s new law gives business owners the right to deny service to LGBT Americans.

  • Jeb Bush made his anti-LGBT stance clear when he voiced support for right to discriminate legislation that would give businesses the right to refuse services to LGBT people. His comments are a clear attack on the LGBT community and just go to show that he wants to turn back the clock on progress we have made.

  • Rand Paul thought that businesses should have the right to discriminate against gay Americans, arguing it should be left up to the “marketplace.”

  • Ted Cruz believes that the government should not force anyone to serve same-sex couples if it goes against their religion and even sponsored legislation that would give organizations a license to discriminate against same-sex couples.

  • Marco Rubio not only voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act because it would provide “special protections” for gay people, but he also believes businesses should be able to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

Guaranteed access to contraception

Sixteen years ago, our state passed bipartisan legislation that requires contraception to be covered by a woman’s health insurance. This law means that we don’t discriminate against women, won’t take away their right to comprehensive health care, and even save them hundreds or thousands of dollars that they can now spend on education, groceries, child care – you name it. Sounds like many of you want to take away that right, though:

  • Just one month before the Supreme Court gave a woman’s boss the ability to take her birth control away from her in the Hobby Lobby decision, Jeb Bush praised companies, organizations, and individuals who would fight for the ability to take away a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions

  • Chris Christie supported the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision shortly after refusing to comment on the case and said he wasn’t concerned about the impact the case would have on women. He also opposed requiring insurers to cover contraceptives for women.

  • Scott Walker refused to enforce a Wisconsin law that requires insurers to cover birth control.

  • Ted Cruz was a leading Hobby Lobby supporter in the U.S. Senate, and even stumped for the company on the U.S. Senate floor in support of their anti-women policies.

  • Rand Paul agreed with Hobby Lobby’s anti-woman policies and accused President Obama of using the government to attack the company.

  • Marco Rubio compared Hobby Lobby’s policy of taking away a woman’s access to health care to an “American Tradition”.

  • Bobby Jindal called contraception an “abortifacient”, expressing zero understanding of what contraception even is.



NHDP - Mitch McConnell Should Allow Binding Votes on Bipartisan Middle Class Bills 

RELEASE: Kelly Ayotte Should Tell Mitch McConnell To Allow Binding Votes on Bipartisan Middle Class Bills
Bipartisan Majorities in the Senate Voted for Non-Binding Amendments Supporting Key Middle Class Priorities, Now Republican Leadership Needs to Allow Binding Votes
Concord, N.H. – Two weeks ago, bipartisan majorities in theSenate voted for non-binding amendments supporting key middle class priorities. Now, it’s time for Kelly Ayotte to tell Mitch McConnell to stop stalling and allow binding votes on these critical priorities.
The middle class policies that received bipartisan support include implementing paid sick leave, ending discrimination against pregnant workers, ensuring equal access to benefits for same sex couples, and passing middle class tax cuts.
“If Kelly Ayotte actually supports these middle class bills, and isn’t just interested in blatantly political posturing, she will immediately call on Mitch McConnell to allow binding votes on these critical middle class priorities,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “Implementing paid sick leave, ending discrimination against pregnant workers, ensuring equal access to benefits for same sex couples, and passing middle class tax cuts would have a real impact on New Hampshire’s middle class families, and these policies deserve a binding vote.”
Roll Call: After Budget Votes, Democrats Push Paid Sick Leave, Middle Class Tax Credits, Federal Benefits for Gay Couples
In a letter to the Kentucky Republican, a copy of which was obtained in advance by CQ Roll Call, nine Democratic senators called for votes on issues like paid sick leave and Social Security benefits for same-sex couples… Each of the four items identified by the Democratic signatories received broad support on non-binding amendment votes cast during the budget debate, with three of the four garnering in excess of the 60 votes that would be needed to overcome procedural hurdles and potential filibusters on the Senate floor. [Roll Call, 4/13/15]

NHDP - Rand Paul Doesn’t Want New Hampshire To “Live Free”… Thank Goodness He’s Gone 

MANCHESTER – New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley released the following statement on Rand Paul’s visit to New Hampshire yesterday:

"When Washington Republicans swing through New Hampshire, they really like to hone in on our beloved state motto: Live Free or Die. Rand Paul did that yesterday and tried to fool Granite Staters into thinking he’s 'different' from other Republicans because he’ll 'fight for your right to be left alone' and live free. That’s about as ridiculous and hypocritical as it gets. If Rand Paul really believed in our right to 'live free,' he wouldn’t oppose a woman’s right to preventive health care coverage or to make her own health care decisions. He wouldn’t oppose an LGBT couple’s right to get married or, frankly, have rights at all. And he sure wouldn’t make it harder for people to carry out their right to vote. We hear from a lot of typical Republicans in New Hampshire and Rand Paul is one of them. Just like the rest of them, he’s not going to fight for our right to 'live free or die' – it’s time for him to drop the act."

Granite Staters Blast Rand Paul's Failed Record and Policies In Advance of His Visit 

NEW HAMPSHIRE – Today, in advance of Rand Paul’s first trip to New Hampshire as a candidate for President of the United States, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley, former New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Kathy Sullivan, and Jake Wagner, former New Hampshire College Republican Chair who has become a member of the Democratic Party after realizing that Republicans like Rand Paul have failed to present solutions for his generation, held a press conference call to discuss the damaging impact a Rand Paul presidency would have on LGBT Granite Staters, young people, women and middle class families across the state. No matter how desperate Rand Paul is to appeal to Granite Staters, it will be impossible for him to hide from his extreme, outdated views during his inaugural stop today, or at any point during the campaign.  

Here’s what they said:

Chairman Ray Buckley: We know that Rand Paul isn’t any different than the rest of the GOP 2016ers – pushing policies that will weaken the middle class and our basic rights just like the rest of them. Rand Paul isn’t going to unleash the American dream – he’s an American nightmare.  Instead of supporting the middle class, he’s siding with America’s richest individuals. His proposal to institute a “flat tax” doesn’t flatten, or level the playing field – it could actually raise taxes on working Americans and would slash taxes for the wealthy. New Hampshire’s middle class families need a candidate who will help them thrive, not leave them in the dust.


Kathy Sullivan: Rand Paul says he is a different kind of Republican, that he believes in liberty and limited government. He is not being honest. The fact is, Rand Paul, like every other Republican candidate, believes that government should come between a doctor and a patient when it comes to women’s health issues. For Rand Paul, liberty for women stops at the door to the doctor’s office. He even thinks it is okay for an employer to tell a woman that she can’t have insurance coverage for birth control – so much for freedom and liberty. He would go so far as to defund Planned Parenthood, a position that we have rejected here in New Hampshire. This is the same, unoriginal, anti-personal privacy Republican Party rhetoric when it comes to women’s health. New Hampshire women know Rand Paul is not telling the truth when he says he is a “new kind of Republican” – he’s the same old type of Republican who would turn back the clock on women’s rights. It’s time for Rand Paul to stop pretending to be something he is not.


Jake Wagner: I used to be a big fan of Rand Paul for a time--I even have the Facebook profile picture to prove it. He seemed like he was something different from your run of the mill republican. But then, as I went along, I started to hear his positions on things like gay rights, and perhaps even worse, student loans, and I realized he was one and the same as the rest of them. Now, when I realized that what passed for "new and interesting" in the GOP was actually just more of the same stuff I couldn't stand about the party I was part of, I made a decision to cut ties with the Republican party and instead, I proudly now support Democrats in New Hampshire and across the country. Raul Paul tries to confuse millennials every single day by claiming he understands us and what we want from our president. He even started selling Beats headphones and Macbook skins on his website yesterday. But it’s going to take more than a few pairs of headphone covers to convince New Hampshire millennials that he’s the guy for the job. With his extreme policies, more young people aren’t going to Stand with Rand – they’re going to run in the opposite direction.


NHDP - GOP Senator Mark Kirk Rejects Indiana’s Discrimination Law 

As GOP Senator Mark Kirk Rejects Indiana’s Discrimination Law and Chris Sununu Ducks for Cover, Where Does Kelly Ayotte stand?
Concord Monitor, Nashua Telegraph and Monadnock Ledger-Transcript Editorials Blast Indiana’s Discrimination Law
Concord, N.H. – Concord, N.H. – As Kelly Ayotte’s Senate Republican colleague Mark Kirk (R-IL) came out strongly against Indiana’s discrimination law and Chris Sununu refused to stand up against the law for fear of angering his extremist base, the question remains: where does Kelly Ayotte stand?
“Kelly Ayotte’s silence on Indiana’s discrimination law is deafening,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “It’s clear that Chris Sununu and Kelly Ayotte won’t stand up for the rights of men, women and families across our country who deserve better than to watch their states legalize discrimination. I’m proud that Granite Staters have made clear that we won’t stand for discrimination, it’s time for Sununu and Ayotte to get the message.”
When asked about Indiana's discrimination law, Sununu refused to take a stand, saying it's too early to "start to judge.”
Today, editorials in the Concord MonitorNashua Telegraph and Monadnock Ledger-Transcript blasted Indiana’s discrimination law yet Kelly Ayotte, who has a history of opposing marriage equality, refuses to take a stand. 
See below for a roundup of editorial coverage.
Concord Monitor Editorial: “Indiana law points to a larger issue”
The explosion of controversy ignited by Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act should have been foreseen. Criticism that the law allows businesses to discriminate against gay people gained national notoriety. Society has changed, apparently without the state’s legislators noticing.
… The larger issue is that Indiana – indeed, the United States as a whole – does not protect gay and lesbian people from discrimination. At all. According to the Human Rights Campaign, only 21 states, including New Hampshire, and the District of Columbia have laws that ban discrimination against gay people. The U.S. House and Senate, despite occasional attempts to pass a bill banning such discrimination, are now in Republican hands and unlikely to extend such protections anytime soon.
In other words, we now live in a country in which it is legal for gay people to wed nearly everywhere, yet in 29 states they can be fired from their jobs for being married.
… There’s no question that believers of all types should have the space needed in which to practice their deeply held beliefs. However, if we are dedicated to perpetuating a secular and pluralistic society, businesses and institutions should not be able to turn away patrons because of their race, gender, age or sexual orientation. [Click here for the full editorial]
Nashua Telegraph Editorial: “The uproar in Indiana will probably put an end to talk about Mike Pence as a possible presidential candidate”
… Thousands showed up at the Indiana Statehouse on Saturday to demonstrate against the law’s passage, and Pence canceled his scheduled public appearances on Monday and Tuesday rather than face the wrath of even more demonstrators.
… The uproar in Indiana will probably put an end to talk about Mike Pence as a possible presidential candidate – he made a test-the-waters visit to New Hampshire in the fall – but more importantly, it should serve as a lesson to those who favor greater religious protections.
The way to achieve it is not by discriminating against others.
Anyone with even a passing familiarity with religious history should know that.[Click here for the full editorial]
Ledger-Transcript Editorial: “Discrimination bill is indefensible”
By now, nearly everyone has heard about the controversial bill out of Indiana that may allow businesses to deny service to same-sex couples on the basis of religious freedom. Indiana is now one of 20 states with “religious freedom” laws, but the expansive nature of this particular bill, signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence, has critics nationwide in an uproar. Big businesses have already threatened to pull their money and events out of the Hoosier state. Several states, including New York and Connecticut, have banned state-funded travel to Indiana in the wake of the bill’s signing.
But there are a vocal few who have made their support of Gov. Pence and the bill quite clear: the majority of the perceived frontrunners for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush fired up the bandwagon, and was quickly joined on his ride by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, all of whom defended Gov. Pence in lockstep. (Rick Santorum and Rick Perry both took to Twitter to make their case for Gov. Pence’s action as well .)
… These politicians need to be held accountable for their stance on this issue, and when voters and media members have their chance to question the potential nominees, we hope they won’t have forgotten this misstep. Discrimination under any guise is just plain wrong, and it’s hard to imagine electing someone for any position who feels otherwise. [Click here for the full editorial]