Friday, February 06, 2009

N.H. Loons Against SSM

Sweeping extremes of human intellect and emotion were fully exposed in the New Hampshire legislature yesterday. The public hearing on House Bill 436 also shows by the loon is so popular there. Apparently on the subject of same-sex marriage babble free is part of the state motto.

Real Stuff Links:
  • Excellent reportage from the Concord Monitor's Daniel Barrick is here.
  • The cogent and detailed arguments for SSM by Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson are in the video clip here.

The majority of testimony from the crowd of about 100 favored SSM, centered on comments from groups such as the state Freedom to Marry Coalition. I highly recommend Robinson's testimony, in the video link above. He succinctly covered theology and history, and his remarks would be a fine tutorial to those coincidentally or maliciously befuddled by wild claims about marriage in general and SSM in particular.

Please let me know if you run across a transcription. I would love to run it.

Those against SSM seemed to be an odd bunch by their testimony. Their remarks lacked both reason and compassion. For example:
  • Cornerstone Policy Research's founding board member Shannon McGinley tried the nonsensical and painfully literal, "One can believe in same-sex marriage. One can believe in the importance of a mother and a father for every child. But one cannot believe in both."
  • Stranger was a boat-GLBT analogy from the defunct Portsmouth Finsherman's Co-op's Michael Geanoulis. Stay with him as he claimed that his group's excluding sailboats from membership wasn't discriminatory. "(I)t was for the good of the group as a whole. Likewise, he said, forbidding homosexuals from marrying would benefit the bulk of society." I figure he whittled that to its dull point over a lot of ale.
  • The oddest may have been architect Tony Fallon's judgment that same-sex marriage beyond the existing civil unions would equal "a terrible breach of trademark and copyright." When Rep. Rick Watrous asked who owned the trademark on marriage:
"I would say the church," Fallon said.
"Which church?" Watrous asked.
Fallon paused for several seconds and then said, "The church of God. A variety of faiths have this trademark and copyright."
Against Robinson's clear, well-reasoned and undramatic testimony, the anti folk seem odd indeed. It is difficult to see how they can expect to be taken seriously with such emotionally based arguments.

The votes for SSM seem to be in the legislature, but the Gov. John Lynch is ambivalent about signing a law. This should make for a fascinating political spring in Concord.

For the anti-SSM and anti-GLBT folk, this whole change must be quite a shock. Last year, it was legalized civil unions, now there's a fair chance of what Robinson called "the next logical revision." While this is a libertarian leaning state, such relatively sudden equality stuns some.

Sure they want to say they are for live-and-let-live as well as equality. Yet, it was not at all long ago that they could and did defame homosexuals with impunity. Now they seem to be zipping right along to living free up there.

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1 comment:

smijer said...

I always thought that Live Free or Die was a terribly restricting slogan. I mean, why not both?

Nice post.