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Entries in Gay Marriage (188)

Thursday
Jun272013

NHDP Statement on Supreme Court Striking Down DOMA

Concord - New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley released the following statement applauding the United States Supreme Court's decision striking down the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. 

“Today's decision is extremely meaningful for the thousands of LGBT families across the state, from Hanover to Hampton and Pelham to Pittsburg.  It is a decisive victory for American equality and justice for all.

"As a result of the Supreme Court's decision, more than 1,100 discriminatory federal laws will be no longer be in effect.  New Hampshire's married LGBT citizens and their loved ones will be able to fully enjoy the protections and benefits the United States government has guaranteed to heterosexual couples for generations.  

"When we look at the progress made for the LGBT community in the last several years it is clear we all owe a great debt of thanks to so many New Hampshire Democrats.  Senator Shaheen, Governor Lynch, Governor Hassan, Congresswoman Shea-Porter, Congresswoman Kuster, Speaker Norelli and Senator Larsen have each been incredibly strong voices for the LGBT community and equality for all New Hampshire citizens.

"Sadly, New Hampshire Republicans continue to be on the wrong side of history, from Kelly Ayotte to Jeb Bradley and Bill O'Brien, New Hampshire Republicans continue to oppose equal rights.  They have lurched so far to the right they are out of touch not just with the majority of Granite Staters, but even with members of their own party nationally."

Thursday
Jun272013

NHDP - Breaking: DOMA 

Friend:

The Supreme Court today struck down the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.  New Hampshire's married LGBT couples will now be able to fully enjoy the same protections from the United States government as heterosexual couples all across the state.  
Unfortunately, New Hampshire Republicans continue to be on the wrong side of history.  Kelly Ayotte, Jeb Bradley, Bill O'Brien, and Frank Guinta stand opposed to equal rights for all New Hampshire citizens.  They are so far to the right, they are out of touch with many in their own party here in New Hampshire and across the country.  

 
Tell them today to stand with the people of New Hampshire and to support equality for all.  

Thank you,

Raymond

P.S. -- Once you've signed, please share -- www.nhdp.org/equality -- on Facebook and Twitter!
Thursday
Jun272013

NHDP - Flashback: Bradley Casts New England's Lone Yes Vote Banning Marriage Equality

Concord - In case you missed it, or have forgotten, as a member of Congress Jeb Bradley was the only Representative from New England to vote for a constitutional ban on marriage equality.  "However, because court rulings have threatened the legitimacy of DOMA by allowing same-sex marriages, I believe we should protect traditional marriage by ensuring that marriage is defined as between one man and one woman," said Bradley defending his discriminatory vote.

"As a member of  Congress Jeb Bradley represented the far right instead of New Hampshire's traditional values of fairness and equality.  Nearly seven years later and after being rejected by New Hampshire voters twice, nothing has changed.  Now a state Senator Bradley is still representing the far right wing and still opposing equality for thousands of loving New Hampshire families," said New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director Harrell Kirstein. 

In Concord, Bradley voted against New Hampshire's historic marriage equality law, continuing to oppose equal rights for Granite State LGBT families. [HB436 Roll Call]  Numerous public opinion polls show that the majority of Granite Staters and Americans support marriage equality. [UNH Survey Center; Washington Post, 3/2013]

"Jeb Bradley is so far to the right he is out of touch not just with the majority of New Hampshire voters, but even with many members of his own party nationally who now support marriage equality for all," added Kirstein.

 
Associated Press: Bradley Casts New England's Lone Yes Vote on Gay Marriage Measure
July 19, 2006
LENGTH: 171 words
DATELINE: WASHINGTON 
Republican U.S. Rep. Jeb Bradley of New Hampshire was the only New Englander to vote for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage Tuesday.

The House rejected the proposed amendment by a vote of 236-187 with one member voting "present," 47 short of the two-thirds majority needed to advance the proposal.

Rep. Charles Bass, R-N.H., voted against the measure, as did the House members from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine and Vermont.

Bradley echoed other supporters who argued that Congress must step in to stop judges who have ruled in favor of gay marriages.

"I support the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), signed into law by President Clinton in 1996, which was intended to ensure that same-sex marriages would not be recognized under federal law," Bradley said in a statement.

"However, because court rulings have threatened the legitimacy of DOMA by allowing same-sex marriages, I believe we should protect traditional marriage by ensuring that marriage is defined as between one man and one woman," he said.

Tuesday
Jun042013

NHDP - Four Years Later, NHGOP Still On The Wrong Side of History And Out Of Step With NH Voters 

Concord - Four years after New Hampshire enshrined marriage equality into state law, the New Hampshire Republican Party and its elected officials are still on the wrong side of history and standing in opposition to the majority of New Hampshire voters.  Numerous public opinion polls show that the majority of Granite Staters and Americans support marriage equality. [UNH Survey Center; Washington Post, 3/2013]
 
Monday, June 3rd, 2013, marks the fourth anniversary of New Hampshire becoming the first state in the nation to legalize marriage equality without court involvement.  Since that time, thousands of loving New Hampshire families have been able to marry and enjoy equal protection under state law.
 
"Four years ago today, Governor Lynch signed marriage equality into Granite State law.  Four years later, it is long past time for New Hampshire Republicans to join the majority of New Hampshire in supporting marriage equality for all citizens," said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley.  "Voters deserve an answer from Kelly Ayotte, Jeb Bradley, Bill O'Brien and other New Hampshire Republicans; why do you still refuse to support equal marriage rights and protections under the law for all loving New Hampshire men and women?"

Not only is the New Hampshire Republican State Committee's opposition to equal rights listed in the official Party Platform that was ratified by the delegate members of NHGOP, but New Hampshire Republican leaders have actively sought to deny equality to Granite Staters. [NHGOP.org]

  • Senator Kelly Ayotte refuses to support equal rights, has promised to help repeal New Hampshire's marriage equality law and opposes repeal of discriminatory federal statues.  [Youtube]
  • As a member of Congress Frank Guinta backed an effort to ban same-sex marriages. [Concord Monitor, 11/4/2012]
  • Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley voted against equal marriage rights both in Concord [HB436 Roll Call] and Washington.  He even voted in favor of enshrining inequality in the United States' Constitution. [Roll Call 387]
  • As House Speaker Bill O'Brien made repealing marriage equality a legislative priority for House Republicans.  [Nashua Telegraph,11/11/2012]
"Unfortunately New Hampshire Republicans havelurched so far to the right they are out of touch not just with the majority of Americans, but even with members of their own party nationally.  This is further evidence that the NHGOP has lost any connection to traditional New Hampshire values in its desire to become the face and voice of the Tea Party and radical social conservatives," continued Buckley.
Wednesday
Apr102013

Fred Karger Interviewed on Future of GOP in Washington Times

Here are Part I and Part II of an extensive interview I had with Joseph Cotto, of the Washington Times, on the future of the Republican Party.  I thought that you might enjoy it:
 
Part I CLICK HERE



Fred Karger on how he is building an LGBT-friendly Republican Party
 
Photo: Used with permission of Fred Karger Photo: Adam Bouska
Thursday, April 4, 2013 - The Conscience of a Realist by Joseph Cotto

Joseph Cotto


FLORIDA, April 4, 2012 — The Republican Party is in transition.

On one side, social conservatives are clamoring to maintain power amid a cultural climate which increasingly counters their views. On another side, libertarians are making strides in blending social liberalism with virtually unregulated free market capitalism. On yet another side, traditionalists are seeking a return to what might be described as the Eisenhower Era; utilizing various philosophies to achieve this end.

Finally, moderates, who have largely been maligned since the passing of Nelson Rockefeller, sense that there might be a place for them amid the shuffle.

Perhaps Fred Karger fits best into this group. A career political operative, he rose to prominence by consulting on the campaigns of notables such as Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bob Dole. His most famous cause, though, is not for a single politician, but an extremely divisive issue: same-sex marriage.

Karger brought much attention to the matter when he ran for the GOP’s presidential nomination during last year’s primaries. In doing so, he became the first openly gay candidate for the presidency. These days, he furthers the interest of not only LGBT rights but also of reasonable Republican politics as a commentator.

In this first part of our discussion, Karger tells us about advocating for LGBT rights within the GOP, if he thinks many of the Party’s anti-LGBT stances will fade away with increasing electoral support for same-sex marriage, how the Religious Right has changed the GOP, whether or not he believes that Ron Paul libertarianism is a positive influence on the Party, and what he expects the future to hold for LGBT Republicans.

Joseph F. Cotto: When one considers the Republican Party, LGBT politics are not something which typically come to mind. Is advocating for LGBT rights within the GOP really as quixotic as it sounds?

Fred Karger: The GOP is slowly coming around. Not all that long ago the Republican Party used to be the leader in civil rights. Now more and more Republican elected officials and leaders are coming out for LGBT equal rights. With 81% of 18 to 29 year olds supporting marriage equality, it’s just a matter of time.

Cotto: With increasing electoral support for same-sex marriage, do you believe that many of the GOP’s anti-LGBT stances will fade away?

Karger: We are coming off electoral victories for marriage equality in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington just last November. The Oregon Republican Party stripped anti-gay language from its 2012 party platform in a shift toward the political center. Illinois’ GOP Chairman Pat Brady recently came out for marriage equality. Illinois will soon have a legislative vote on the issue.  I live for the day when the Republican National Committee helps lead the way toward equality for all Americans just as our first Republican president did 150 years ago.

Cotto: One of the Republican Party’s key voting blocs is the Religious Right, which consists of fundamentalist Christians. Needless to say, these voters do not tend to support LGBT politics. Has this proven to be a problem for LGBT Republicans?

Karger: The Religious Right wants to cleanse the GOP of people who do not agree with them 100% of the time. I learned from Ronald Reagan that we need a big tent Republican Party, reflecting a wide variety of views, while still maintaining core Republican beliefs. The problem that the Party is now facing is that so many reasonable, mainstream Republicans have left the Party that the primaries are now dominated by the far right.

Cotto: Across the political spectrum as of late, libertarianism has become very popular. Specifically in the Republican Party, followers of Ron Paul are storming the establishment’s gates, so to speak. Do you believe that this is a positive development?

Karger: The libertarian movement within the Republican Party is making great headway thanks primarily to Ron Paul. He has had a clear and strong message of less government, and by so effectively communicating that message, has brought in a tremendous number of young people to the GOP.

Cotto: During the years ahead, as the LGBT community’s political lobby grows stronger, the GOP will undoubtedly need its support, both electorally and financially. What do you think the future holds for LGBT Republicans?

Karger: There is a huge opportunity for the LGBT community within the Republican Party right now. I get asked all the time why I don’t switch and become a Democrat. Well, the Democratic Party is in fine shape on LGBT issues. 48 Democrat U.S. Senators are supporting marriage equality. Only two Republicans support it at the moment. Change will only happen on LGBT issues in the GOP from within, which is why I am sticking around.



Part II CLICK HERE


Fred Karger: 'The GOP should welcome all LGBT Americans'
 

Photo: LGBT rainbow flag, Friday, April 5, 2013 - by Joseph Cotto

FLORIDA, April 5, 2012 — The LGBT community is gaining unprecedented influence in American politics. How might the Republican Party become more inclusive toward it?

Many believe that if the GOP becomes more socially tolerant, it could lose some elections as fundamentalist Christian voters might stay home. However, tolerance does seem necessary if the support of younger voters is sought. What can be said about this seeming conundrum?

In this second part of our discussion, Fred Karger shares his views. A career political operative, he rose to prominence by consulting the campaigns of notables such as Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bob Dole. His most famous cause, though, is not for a single politician but for an extremely divisive issue, same-sex marriage.

Karger brought much attention to the matter when he ran for the GOP’s presidential nomination during last year’s primaries. In doing so, he became the first openly gay candidate for the presidency.

Karger also tells us about whether or not he believes that antiabortion politics will continue to be a prominent feature of GOP social policy, what he learned from his presidential run, and what inspires him to continue on in his career each day.

Joseph F. Cotto: In a summary sense, how might the Republican Party become more inclusive toward the LGBT community?

Fred Karger: The day before I filed my papers at the Federal Election Commission in Washington, DC in April 2011, I met with newly elected RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, Co-Chair Sharon Day and Chief of Staff Jeff Larson in their offices at the RNC. They welcomed me into the race, offered my campaign all the facilities of the RNC, included my campaign staff in all meetings and could not have been more cordial. The RNC had me on its list of 12 recommended candidates to be on state primary ballots, which was the principal reason that I was on so many.  This is the direction that the Republican Party needs to be taking on LGBT rights, and it should welcome all LGBT Americans into the GOP not just with words, but with actions.

Cotto: From your perspective, will antiabortion politics continue to be a prominent feature of GOP social policy?

Karger: Sadly, the politics of abortion will be around forever in this country. We need to respect each other’s positions on this highly emotional issue. President Reagan was a shining example of this. While he adamantly opposed abortion, he worked with both sides of the issue, while continuing to speak out loudly on his beliefs.

Cotto: Many believe that if the Republican Party becomes more socially tolerant, it could lose some elections as fundamentalist Christian voters might stay home. However, tolerance does seem necessary if the support of younger voters is wanted. What do you think about this seeming problem?

Karger: Republican leaders got a loud wakeup call last November 6th with the trouncing that Mitt Romney took against a weakened President Obama. Change is happening albeit all too slowly for many of us. Party leaders and elected officials will have to alter their ways. We cannot afford to drive away an entire generation of younger voters if we expect to survive as a political party.

Cotto: Last year, you ran for the GOP presidential nomination. Campaigning for national office is an undertaking so massive that few of us can fully comprehend it. What did you learn from your candidacy?

Karger: I was treated amazingly well for a first-time candidate. I learned how to run a national campaign on a very limited budget by concentrating my efforts in the first two early states of Iowa and New Hampshire. We did all the things that the big campaigns did only on a much more limited basis. From the very beginning, I needed to appear as a serious candidate, so it was imperative that everything that we did and said was well thought out and looked like a presidential candidate and campaign should look. The internet and social media afforded us the opportunity to communicate cost effectively and instantly.

I was very fortunate as the first openly gay candidate of either major political party to receive a tremendous amount of news coverage worldwide because of the historic nature of my candidacy. I also learned that the first time may not always be the path to the nomination.

Cotto: Now that our discussion is at its end, many readers are probably wondering how you came to be a noted political operative and voice for LGBT rights. What inspires you to continue on in your work each day?

Karger: I will forever remember the 16 year old girl who came up to me in a parade in Manchester, New Hampshire three days before last year’s primary. She said she was a lesbian who had struggled with that for years. She had driven many miles to meet me, shake my hand and thank me for running for president. She said that had made her life so much better. It gave her hope that she could do whatever she wanted to do in her life. I don’t even know her name, but she represented so many young people who sent emails, facebook messages, tweeted, and reached out to me with a similar message.  That’s what got me up each and every morning for the 2½ years that I campaigned for president and continues to motivate all my LGBT activism. I want kids growing up today to have a far easier time of it than so many of us did before them.



All the best,