The detailed Boston Globe article on the commission is reprinted here. The wire services have their own versions of the first hearing.
From the coverage, we learn:
- Most of the appointed commissioners are anti-same-sex marriage and anti-civil unions.
- The audience at the first of the four hearings was overwhelmingly in favor of civil unions or same-sex marriage.
About 100 showed up and stayed for the two and one-half hour meeting. Many spoke in favor, three against, and the Roman Catholic church mailed in its opposition from the Manchester Diocese. One minister was among the anti forces. Local Christ Church Rev. Curt Hanners claimed accepting homosexual unions or marriages would harm families.
Several other ministers disagreed. One pointed to neighboring Vermont's five-year track record of civil unions. Vermont UU Rev. Brendan Hadash said straight marriages are stronger. "Since civil unions were legalized in Vermont, the number of straight weddings I have performed has almost quadrupled.
The commission chair is Rep. Tony Soltani, who has opposed changing the state marriage law and last year spoke in favor of a gay-marriage ban. He seems only mildly mean in contrast t the vice chair, Scott Earnshaw. The latter heads the New Hampshire Traditional Marriage and Family Institute.
With Massachusetts at its feet and Vermont rubbing it back, New Hampshire must sleep fitfully.