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Friday
Nov092012

Oh Happy Day For The Gay Community Nationwide And In New Hamshire


Election day 2012 may go down in history as the day the gay marriage issue was put to bed once and for all.
Uber conservatives will no longer be able to claim that when people have been allowed to vote, gay marriage always loses.  In fact, it passed in both Maine and Maryland Tuesday, and nationwide exit polls show that gay marriage (not just civil unions) is now favored by a 49-46 margin. 
That numbers grows from year to year, and don 't be surprised to see it up to 60 percent when Americans go to elect a President in 2016.
Anti-gay marriage people are dying out, both literally and figuratively.  Literally...Manchester Ward 4 Republican, one of two Representatives to file legislation to repeal gay marriage last year, died prior to the election.  Figuratively, David Bates, the Salem Republican who has gained a reputation as Homosexual Hunter, decided not to run again in Windham and most likely would not have survived in the primary had he won.
In New Hampshire, an openly gay Executive Councilor (one of five!) was elected by a wide margin.  An openly gay State Senator (1 of 24) was elected by nearly a two to one margin.   An openly gay candidate for State Rep in Manchester Ward 2 won, but it goes beyond that....he's actually married to another man.
I'm not going to name names because even if people have outed themselves, I don't believe in focusing on their sexuality.
At the same time, New Hampshire rejected a homophobic Speaker, Billy the Bully, who to everlasting harm of his part insisted on push gay marriage repeal even during this past campaign.  Yes, he won his own race, but he joins the ranks of back benchers where his venom will be well contained.
That's the point.  The vast majority of voters don't care if someone is gay or not.  The vast majority doesn't believe government should decide just whom you can fall in love with or sleep with.
We've come a long way since people were killed in colonial America just for being gay. 
We've come a long way since gays were part of the Nazi Holocaust (let's never forget the pink triangles).
We've come a long way since blacks and whites were not allowed to marry (it wasn't until 1965 that the Supreme Court decided the issue in the Loving v. Virginia case).
We still have a ways to go, but we in New Hampshire should take pride that we were slightly ahead of the curve on tolerance.
Thanks to Jim Splaine, former Portsmouth Democrat, and all those who worked so hard on an issue that Republicans stood against until the last dog died.
The last bigoted dog is nearly gone, and the GOP continues to oppose this issue at its own peril.
At the risk of ending on a downer note, let me add a personal story.  My support of gay marriage and transgender rights (and equality for all god's children) is well known, and it was used against me in my ward which is the most Republican and the most conservative of all the state's city wards (with the possible exception of Ward 1 in Laconia).  I usually top the ticket for State Rep and finish several hundred votes ahead, but this time I won by only 15 votes (there's a recount next week).  I am absolutely certain I lost Republican support and didn't pick up much Democratic support either (Dems were too busy following like lemmings the recommendations of hacks like Kathy Sullivan).
But I'm not just imagining this.  Even among the joy of this election's aftermath, I'll be haunted by a door-to-door visit to a family in the Brown Ave area (just north of the airport).  I gave the people my flyer; they didn't look happy, and as I was walking away, I heard, "Oh, he's for gay marriage.  We can't vote for him!"
Indeed they couldn't.  Indeed homophobia prevails in certain areas, among certain people.  Indeed, it hurts me, but my proudest accomplishment as I head (perhaps) into my ninth terms is helping Jim Splaine past gay marriage and preventing the bigots in my own party (like Billy the Bully) from repealing it.
We are on the right side of history...just like the abolitionists like Jonathan Hale and Daniel Webster and John Quincy Adams (sadly not Franklin Pierce) were on the right side of history in their fight against slavery.  Just like those who fought for women's rights and for the right for inter-racial marriage were on the right side of history.
If that opinion (and I've expressed it openly on many past TV shows) costs me, then so be it.
Oh happy day, New Hampshire. 
Oh happy day, America. 
Sadly, it took a whopping defeat to my own party (yes, I remain among the most fiscally conservative people you'll find anywhere) to bring it about.
Wake up, Grand Old Party, it's later than you think.
CSpan often rebroadcasts programs.  Last night, Charlie Cook and Stu Rothenberg did an hour with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce talking about the Republican problems (and Barack Obama's refusal to work...even with members of his own party...he's one lazy golf playing dude!).  Check it out if it's rerun.  It's worth an hour of your time.
By the way, The Liberty Express (my show) is no more...but that's another story.
Trivia question--At the polls in Ward 8 Manchester, election day, who was sporting a button, "Skiers for Obama."
Hint--The answer is almost contained within this blog.
Give up.
It was not Kathy The Hack Sullivan, but it was Mr. Kathy Sullivan (also known as John Rist)!
Not that there's anything wrong with such a button...except Golfers For Obama or Lazy Hackers for Obama might have been more appropriate considering the comments from Charlie Cook and Stu Rothenberg.  You really gotta see it.  CSpan I.

Gay Marriage Victory In Maine, Maryland; Minnesota Votes Down 'Traditional' Amendment (UPDATE)

Posted: 11/07/2012 1:05 am EST Updated: 11/07/2012 3:21 pm EST

 
Gay Marriage Victory

 

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Reader Comments (3)

Your story about your door-to-door visit is sad, Steve. And I face that kind of commentary from people almost every day too, since I'm so well-known as "out" and been so for so long. A couple of people in my neighborhood are especially hostile, and while that concerns me at times, I figure what the heck.

We have been on the right side of history. And fact is, we wouldn't have gay marriage in New Hampshire today without your strategy advice and support in 2009. As we know, we had several very close votes, and getting the legislation seriously considered was for a long time a difficult mountain to climb. You were core to making it happen.

And that legislation -- the fact that New Hampshire adopted gay marriage in 2009 -- made it easier, and kind of natural, for President Barack Obama to support gay marriage. Our step for gay marriage made it easier for the victorys in Washington, D.C., and New York State in adopting marriage equality there, and contributed to the successful adoption in Maine this past week (although we have to remember 47%, 47 of every 100 voters, opposed the referendum, so we have work to do).

The causes of fighting for gay marriage, confronting racism, fighting for equality for women in the workplace, and leveling the field economically to give everyone a chance for the American Dream go on. But they are causes worth battling for -- there is nothing on this planet more important than the way we treat one another.
November 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJim Splaine
And nothin' says Grate State luv like a license to put a stamp on it. Maybe, someday, the wards of the state will be equally self-sufficient to not require documentation to show their support for a special someone in the sandbox. Till then, we'll just keep chanting "live free or die" to sustain the delusion we're different.
– C. dog barking at shadows on cave walls
November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterC. dog
I've never expected to be liked by all. In fact, I've always been honored by the type of people who do not like me. The most important thing is not that we have yet achieved total equality for all people, but we are headed, inexorably, in that direction. And I've lived long enough to see it!
Here's the funny thing. While I congratualte Tammy Baldwin, the lesbian elected U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, she is so far to the left on fiscal issues that I most likely would not have voted for her. We should not vote for people just because they are gay any more than we should vote against them for that reason. Tommy Thompson would have been my choice.
Look at the openly gay Republican Tisei who lost to Tierney, who if not a crook himself, has a crooked family in Mass. I would have gladly voted for Tisei, a fiscally conservative Republican. Fiscally conservative gay people do exist, but it becomes harder and harder for them to grin and bear the party with people like Billy the Bully and Ovide setting the agenda.
November 15, 2012 | Registered CommenterRep Steve Vaillancourt

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