In a historic vote the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted to reject legislation that would have repealed the state’s two-year-old law that allows gays and lesbians to marry.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 Thanks to you, an overwhelming Republican majority defeated a measure that would have repealed New Hampshire's marriage bill. While our opponents thought marriage would be repealed easily, together we have demonstrated once again that New Hampshire is determined to treat everyone equally under the law.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.
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: