New Hampshire State Legislators: Don't Repeal the Freedom to Marry
  • Petitioned New Hampshire State House

This petition was delivered to:

New Hampshire State House

New Hampshire State Legislators: Don't Repeal the Freedom to Marry

    1. Craig Stowell
    2. Petition by

      Craig Stowell

      Claremont, NH

  1.  
  2.   
March 2012

Victory

In a historic vote the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted to reject legislation that would have repealed the state’s two-year-old law that allows gays and lesbians to marry. A 3 to 1 Republican-controlled House voted 211 to 116 to preserve marriage for gays and lesbians.

 
Craig Stowell helped preserve marriage in New Hampshire by fighting for his brother's right to marry. Craig is a Republican Marine veteran who was honored to have his gay brother stand next to him at his wedding as his best man, and wanted to pay his brother the same honor by standing up for him.


It was clear from the beginning people cared deeply about this issue. Craig easily gathered more than 100,000 signatures to show support for same-sex marriage in New Hampshire. 


Craig Stowell shared his gratitude with Change.org for those who signed his petition, "I want to thank everyone who signed my petition on Change.org. Your signatures, emails, and calls to New Hampshire's legislature helped turn the tide in our favor, and preserved the freedom to marry for loving and committed gays and lesbian couples. Thanks to you, an overwhelming Republican majority defeated a measure that would have repealed New Hampshire's marriage bill. While our opponents thought marriage would be repealed easily, together we have demonstrated once again that New Hampshire is determined to treat everyone equally under the law. Thank you."

In addition to Craig's campaign on Change.org, there were dozens of coalition partners who worked with Standing Up For New Hampshire Families to help preserve the freedom to marry. Their coordinated effort achieved what some thought was impossible -- a vote to preserve marriage for gays and lesbians by a Republican majority. 


"When we work together, we can achieve almost anything" Craig said.

My brother and best friend, Calvin, was tormented all the way through high school because people knew he was gay. There were nights that I worried I may wake up and he wouldn’t be there any longer; crushed by the misery he was forced to endure. When New Hampshire extended marriage to gay and lesbian couples, two years ago, he finally felt accepted. He finally felt like he belonged. Since that day 1,800 loving and committed gay and lesbian couples have married.

Today, the right to marriage is under attack in New Hampshire. If HB 437 passes, same-sex couples will no longer be allowed to marry. This mean-spirited attack is nothing more than state sponsored bullying. The bill actually goes on to allow discrimination in employment and housing based on sexuality.

When I enlisted in the Marines, I took an oath to defend freedom and liberty. In 2004, I went to Iraq to do just that. As the co-chairman for Standing Up for New Hampshire Families, I am now defending my brother's freedom here at home, and I hope you will help me by telling legislators to vote NO on HB 437.

Two recent polls have shown that Granite Staters overwhelming support marriage equality. One poll coming from the University of New Hampshire shows support at 62 percent. It should be obvious that the majority of New Hampshire believes this is a settled issue.

When my wife Berta and I were married, Calvin was right there by my side as my best man. I want the opportunity to be his best man when he finds the person he wants to marry. With your help, I know we can ensure that freedom will still be there when he does.

Craig Stowell
Republican Co-Chair, Standing Up For New Hampshire Families

Photo: Craig Stowell on left, Calvin Stowell on right & their twin brothers.

For more information on Standing Up for New Hampshire Familiies, check out:
http://action.standingupfornhfamilies.org/Craig

Recent signatures

    News

    1. N.H. Republican Ex-Marine Wants to Defend Gay Marriage

      Mark Anthony Dingbaum
      Petition Organizer

      BOSTON MAGAZINE: "Craig Stowell, an ex-Marine and co-chair of Standing Up For New Hampshire Families, has rounded 117,000 signatures on an online petition to urge New Hampshire lawmakers to reject new legislation that would define marriage as between a man and a woman."

    2. @MileyCyrus wants you to sign Craig's petition

      Mark Anthony Dingbaum
      Petition Organizer

      Miley Cyrus was so moved by Craig's petition, she retweeted it out to her more than 4 million Twitter followers this week!

    3. Marine Fights to Keep Marriage Equality in N.H.

      Mark Anthony Dingbaum
      Petition Organizer

      The ADVOCATE: "As conservative legislators in New Hampshire work to undermine marriage equality there, a former Marine is circulating a petition urging fair-minded politicians to stop the effort."

    4. Republican Marine Fights For Gay Brother’s Marriage Rights

      Mark Anthony Dingbaum
      Petition Organizer

      THINK PROGRESS: "Republican and former Marine Craig Stowell is fighting to protect his gay brother Calvin’s right to marry in New Hampshire. Calvin was the best man at Craig’s wedding and he wants to make sure he has the opportunity to return the favor. He has launched a petition on Change.org calling on New Hampshire legislators not to change the marriage equality law..."

    5. Reached 100,000 signatures
    6. Marine fights for gay brother's right to marry

      Mark Anthony Dingbaum
      Petition Organizer

      CNN talks to Craig Stowell about his petition on Change.org and the statewide campaign to protect the freedom to marry: "'Craig Stowell said Calvin was his best man at his wedding, and Craig wants to be able to reciprocate. 'I want the opportunity to be his best man when he finds the person he wants to marry,' he says in the petition."

    7. Reached 75,000 signatures
    8. NH Republican Fights for Marriage Equality out of Love for Gay Brother

      Mark Anthony Dingbaum
      Petition Organizer

      Truth Wins Out urges its supporters to take action for New Hampshire by signing Craig's powerful petition. John Becker writes: "Once you can see your computer screen again through the tears and have swallowed the lump in your throat, please join me in heading over to Change.org and signing Craig Stowell’s petition. All of us at Truth Wins Out (along with so many others) have said for a long time that equality is not and should not be a partisan issue. The courageous and heartwarming actions of people like Craig Stowell give me hope that the day will come when that’s truly the case."

    9. Reached 500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Danette Dalton WATERVILLE, ME
      • about 2 years ago

      My wife and I were married in nh because it has yet to pass in our state, Maine.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Megan Mulligan LEWISBURG, PA
      • about 2 years ago

      I grew up in NH and have always been very proud of our independent streak, doin things our own way not because of any particular politics but simply because it made sense. Please do the same here!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Paden Holmes VIRDEN, IL
      • about 2 years ago

      Gays & Lesbians should have the right to be married! It's a person marring another of whom they love. Marriage is supposed to be about LOVE, not sex. Devorce rate will still be the same. And if they do divorce then they had the right to be just as miserable, in a marriage, as any straight person. And on the whole bible thing where is says its wrong to be gay, well that was talking about men who prayed upon young boys....It was talking about PEDOPHILES, not an adult in love with another adult. Love is love, and it's no one elses business who they sleep with. it's not hurting you personally and its not threatening you or anyone you love's life, so get over yourself and sign this petition!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • sheryl stevens SHOALS, IN
      • about 2 years ago

      How can America lay claim to standards of equality if our laws inherently support discrimination? No wonder the international community so often regards us as arrogant hypocrites. I am a happily married woman (to a man), and I would not wish to deny my joy to ANY couple. Love is so rare and precious. Don't stand in its way.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Hannah anderson POST FALLS, ID
      • over 2 years ago

      Because I can only imagine how terrible it would feel if someone told me I could not marry my husband.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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