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Entries in Gay Marriage (184)


NHDP - Kelly Ayotte, NHGOP Lurch to Right of National Republicans

Democrats Call on NH Republicans to Support Equal Rights for all NH Citizens


Concord - As the Supreme Court of the United States begins hearing oral arguments on marriage equality, national Republicans have scrambled to fall in line with the majority of Americans and support equal rights for all.  Unfortunately, the New Hampshire Republican Party led by Senator Kelly Ayotte has maintained its out of touch position seeking to deny equal protection to New Hampshire citizens based solely on who they love.


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. []

·         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]


"Today I am calling on New Hampshire Republicans to join with the majority of Granite Staters and the Democratic Party in supporting equal marriage rights," said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley.  "Unfortunately New Hampshire Republicans have lurched 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."


Numerous public opinion polls show that the majority of Granite Staters and Americans support marriage equality. [UNH Survey Center; Washington Post, 3/2013]


ICYMI: Young Conservatives For The Freedom To Marry Group Grows 

Washington, DC - Today Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry announced a new campaign manager and 20 new members of its leadership committee, including three of former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman's daughters, seasoned veterans of Republican presidential and Senate campaigns, television commentators, authors, and communications strategists. The new members will be welcomed by current members Meghan McCain, Margaret Hoover, and more at a reception in Washington, DC, on March 18.


Tyler Deaton is the new Campaign Manager of Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry. Deaton, a managing director of b-fresh consulting llc, works as a lobbyist and political consultant in Manchester, New Hampshire. In 2011-2012, Deaton led the successful legislative effort to protect the freedom to marry in New Hampshire, marking the first time that a majority of Republicans voted in favor of the freedom to marry.


"The rapid growth of Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry reflects the increasing number of Republicans, libertarians, and right-of-center Americans who are completing their own journeys on marriage for same-sex couples," Deaton said. "When conservatives learn why marriage matters to gay people, they realize that they share the same values as anyone else: committing themselves to each other, making a lifetime vow of love, and protecting their families. The freedom to marry is not a Democratic or Republican value; it's an American value that we all can and should support."


New leadership members include Abby, Liddy, and Mary Anne Huntsman, who are daughters of former Utah Governor and U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman. Jon Huntsman announced his support for the freedom to marry in February, while the women have been long-term supporters of marriage. Some of the other notable names include:

  • S.E. Cupp, conservative author, MSNBC host, columnist at the New York Daily News and contributing editor at Townhall Magazine
  • Liz Mair, founder and president of Mair Strategies LLC and the online communications director for the 2008 Republican National Committee
  • Eduardo J. Lopez-Reyes, national vice chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus
  • Will Cain, a media entrepreneur, small business owner and television commentator
  • Nathan Parsons, Director of Operations for Allegiance Strategies
  • Shannon Kiely-Heider, a government relations director for Cummins, Inc.
  • James Owens, president of Oregon Log Cabin Republicans

A complete list of the new leadership members with their pictures and biographies can be found here:


Meghan McCain, Margaret Hoover, Abby Huntsman, Liddy Huntsman, and Mary Anne Huntsman are confirmed to join more than 15 other Young Conservatives at a reception on Monday, March 18, from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. at Lincoln Restaurant in Washington, DC. Journalists interested in attending can RSVP to


"I am thrilled to be part of such a diverse, talented group of conservatives who believe in doing the right thing," said Abby Huntsman, host and producer for HuffPo Live and political commentator. "Freedom means freedom for everyone, and this includes the freedom to marry the person you love. Marriage for same-sex couples strengthens families and strengthens America, and it's time for conservatives to help make it a reality."


Roughly half of the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry leadership committee members live in the Washington, DC, metro area, while the other half hail from various states including New York and New Hampshire, which have the freedom to marry; Illinois, Minnesota, and Oregon, which are working to win the freedom to marry; and Utah, which has no relationship recognition for same-sex couples. About half are male and half female, while half are straight and half are gay. They range in age from 20 to 40 years old. About 80% identify as Republican, while others identify as independent, libertarian, or otherwise conservative. Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry launched in July 2012.


Governor Hassan, Attorney General Delaney Announce New Hampshire Has Joined Multi-State Effort in Support of Marriage Equality 

Office of New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan

Amicus Briefs Encourage U.S. Supreme Court to Overturn DOMA, California’s Prop 8


CONCORD – To ensure that New Hampshire’s citizens and all Americans are treated equally under the law, Governor Maggie Hassan and Attorney General Mike Delaney announced today that New Hampshire has joined more than a dozen other states in two amicus briefs to the United States Supreme Court defending the right to civil marriage for all couples, regardless of sexual orientation.

“Throughout our history, every time we have sought to include all people in the life of our democracy, we have grown stronger,” Governor Hassan said. “I’m proud that New Hampshire has led the way in ensuring marriage equality for all of our citizens, because encouraging strong marriages for loving couples strengthens families and communities. We are urging the Supreme Court to strike down these discriminatory measures because all New Hampshire married couples should receive fair and equal treatment from the federal government.”

Although New Hampshire legally recognizes their marriages, same-sex couples continue to be discriminated against by the federal government. For example, same-sex spouses on a family health plan have to pay taxes on the coverage, while other married couples do not. Same sex couples cannot file their taxes jointly. Nor can they collect survivor benefits.

“First and foremost, this is a fairness and civil rights issue, but it is also an economic issue for our state, our businesses and our families,” Governor Hassan said.

The briefs have been filed in two cases, Windsor v. United States, which challenges the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and Hollingsworth v. Perry, which challenges California’s Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriages. In the briefs, the states highlight that they have been strengthened by measures to provide marriage equality and argue that the DOMA and Prop 8 measures actually harm families by denying the multitude of legal and social benefits of marriage to same-sex couples and their children.

“Federal laws have for many years deferred to states on the issue of marriage. In order to protect New Hampshire’s law and ensure the equality of New Hampshire’s citizens we join other states on both amicus briefs,” Attorney General Delaney said. “DOMA departs from tradition by seeking to define domestic relations through federal law, and compels New Hampshire to discriminate among our own lawfully married couples. New Hampshire has a compelling interest in ensuring we can protect the rights the legislature has provided to our citizens. In addition, we urge the Court to strike Proposition 8 down because all Americans have a right to fair and equal treatment.”

Other states joining in the effort include Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Washington as well as the District of Columbia.


Statement from Governor Hassan on Introduction of Charlie Morgan Act by Senator Shaheen

Office of New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan

CONCORD – Governor Maggie Hassan released the following statement praising U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen who, along with New York U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), introduced the Charlie Morgan Act to make additional benefits available to all military spouses and families, regardless of sexual orientation:

“Honoring Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan’s legacy with the introduction of the Charlie Morgan Act ensures that her fight for equal rights will live on. I applaud Senators Shaheen and Gillibrand for taking action to ensure that all families are treated equally, regardless of sexual orientation. Charlie Morgan was a dedicated soldier, wife and mother, whose service and sacrifice exemplify what makes our country and state so strong, and it is fitting that this important piece of legislation bears her name.”


Cornerstone: Despite Popular Spin, Family Values Had Positive Affect on Tuesday’s Election

Families First Pledge Signers Supported By Cornerstone Action PAC Did Better than Republicans As a Whole

MANCHESTER, N.H.—Cornerstone’s Families First Pledge signers did better than Republicans as a group in Tuesday’s election, proving that voters did not reject the ideas Cornerstone is advancing and instead reacted to the Democrats’ successful effort to mislead voters and the Republicans’ failure to define how they would pursue pro-family issues in office.

“Cornerstone was acting in near isolation in New Hampshire promoting the issues of life, liberty of conscience, parental rights and the importance of supporting the nuclear family as the foundational building block of society, and candidates were left to fend for themselves when trying to define how reasonable and necessary these issues are,” said Shannon McGinley, Cornerstone’s acting executive director. “The Democratic Party incorrectly described these reasonable ideas as extreme, and the Republican Party agreed with these terms by ignoring the attacks and letting the Democrats’ definitions stick. As a result, the people rejected the party that failed to define these issues in favor of the one that did, however incorrectly.

“At the same time, Cornerstone can legitimately say that informed voters who the organization was able to reach absolutely favored Families First Pledge signers, because they know the ideas in the pledge are not just reasonable, they’re essential to maintaining freedom and prosperity in their state,” McGinley added. “Our Families First General Election Voter Guide was successful, despite the impact of wave voters.”

Cornerstone elected 65 of the candidates who signed the Families First Pledge or who were featured in a Candidate Corner article, 45 percent of the total candidates in this category. Even more impressive, 61 of those 65 candidates were elected to the N.H. House and that’s 48 percent of the total candidates in this category. Only 44 percent of the N.H. House is now represented by Republican members, and 35 percent of them openly supported Cornerstone’s issues. Looking at pledge signers alone, Cornerstone elected 55 to the House, or 49 percent of those who signed the pledge. Compare that to Republicans’ 176 winners, or 48 percent of all the candidates who ran under the GOP banner. Meanwhile, the percentage of Republican losers was precisely the same as the percentage of Cornerstone pledge signers or supported candidates who lost, meaning that Cornerstone’s issues were not a factor in their loss.

“I want to be the first one to warn the Republican Party about what course of action they take next,” McGinley said. “Republicans failure on Tuesday was not due to conservative, pro-family values, it was due to the party’s failure to properly address these issues and explain them to voters through their top-ticket candidates. If Republicans continue to ignore social issues as they did this election, these social issues will continue to be defined incorrectly by the Democrats for political advantage, whether Republicans like it or not.

“Cornerstone will continue to advocate for pro-family candidates in both parties, and we will continue to advance policies that protect innocent life, preserve liberty of conscience, emphasize the importance of the traditional family, restore parental rights and enact free market economic principles that operate independent of a limited, smaller government,” McGinley continued. “We hope that the Republican and Democratic parties come to their senses and help us advance these very American ideals, but if they do not, we will continue to advance them despite the efforts of the parties to ignore or diminish them.” 

With election results in hand, Cornerstone will be working over the next several weeks with elected pledge signers and other supported winners to advance its Families First Legislative Agenda during the upcoming bill signing period. Clearly, Cornerstone does not expect to pass many of the policies in its agenda over the next two years, but we do intend to build a case for them so the people will truly understand where we’re coming from when the 2014 elections come around. Cornerstone will pursue every policy that has a chance of success and will count on its elected pledge signers and other supported winners to introduce these bills and advance their purpose.

“The time for Republicans to wake up is now,” McGinley said. “This is not a time to abandon principle but a time to stand by it and convince the people why it is the best way forward for our state. We think that effort will be successful come 2014.”


About Cornerstone Action
Cornerstone-Action and Cornerstone Policy Research are non-partisan, non-profit organizations dedicated to preserving New Hampshire’s traditional values, limited government, and free markets through education, information and advocacy. Our vision is to create an environment in which strong families—the foundation of our society—can lead New Hampshire into a new era of prosperity and strength. For more information, please visit

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