January, 30th 2012

Ken Mehlman on why NH Rs should stand by same-sex marriage

– Liz Mair

I'm late in posting on this, but last week, former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman had an op-ed in the Union Leader advocating for Republicans in the Granite State to stick up for gay marriage. Excerpt:

Stripping away the right of adults in New Hampshire to marry the person they love is antithetical to freedom. If we really believe (and we should) that every citizen is endowed by their creator with the right to pursue happiness, shouldn’t this include the right to marriage? If we believe in limited government, how can we justify expanding the authority of the state to take away this most personal, fundamental right? Aren’t politicians already too involved in too much of our lives? Why would we want to expand government to such a personal space? 

Allowing New Hampshire citizens to marry the person they love isn’t just consistent with maximizing freedom. It also promotes responsibility, commitment and stability; it promotes family values. Again, our history provides a good road map: One of our party’s finest hours was the passage of welfare reform because it strengthened families and promoted marriage. Why would we want to take away this right from anyone? 

I was asked earlier today by an acquaintance why I care about efforts in New Hampshire to ban gay marriage, after elected officials-- not unaccountable judges issuing judicial fiats-- had said "OK" to it.

The reasons are multiple and somewhat complicated, but these are two of them. First, I do not generally take the view that when personal liberties have been expanded without clear, unavoidable, manifest detriment to another human being, especially via the correct (i.e., democratic) process, we should seek to contract them after the fact. Second, I believe in marriage enough and value my own (civilly-performed) marriage enough to think marriage a thing of value that gays and lesbians, as well as straight people like me, should be able to participate in, with the recognition of the law. Based on the polling cited by Mehlman in his op-ed, it looks like more people than not in New Hampshire tend to agree.

Votes will be coming on this matter in the next few weeks and months. It will be interesting to see which way New Hampshire goes. [intro]



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