January 5, 2011
By Adam Bink
A lot of folks in the comments- here and on other blogs- have wondered why there hasn’t been a lot of writing or chatter from “national groups” or elsewhere about New Hampshire and the prospect of repealing the law that permits same-sex couples to marry. Those conversations have turned into concern that everyone is ignoring this.
But lack of chatter should not be mistaken for being inattentive to a problem. At Courage Campaign, we’ve been paying attention to the issue and making plans since it became clear this might come up. To that end, over the last several weeks, myself, Arisha, Rick, and everyone here have been talking to leading freedom to marry activists on the ground, allied state legislators, and other folks. But while we have been playing it close to the vest (which is also why I’m not writing a great deal about the state of play as I did on, for example, repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”), that doesn’t mean we aren’t ready to generate some action and make sure the freedom to marry stays in place.
So here are the basics, and what Courage plans to do in the state to start with:
- As State Rep. Chris Serlin wrote in the comments the other day, there is indeed a possibility that anti-equality legislators and their allies will push through legislation to repeal the marriage equality law, even to the point of overriding the governor’s veto (support for which requires 2/3rds of both houses). It will be a tough, but winnable fight. We’d need significant Republican support, but there are many Republicans who voted for the original pro-equality bill and were re-elected to the House, as well as others who voted against a repeal attempt in the past. And, as many a New Hampshire resident like Rep. Serlin will tell you, New Hampshire has a libertarian streak. The polling shows residents are with us. It’s very winnable.
- But we are taking nothing for granted. Starting this month, Courage Campaign, in partnership with Granite State Progress, will be launching a series of activist trainings in New Hampshire modeled on our successful Camp Courage program. They’re intended to provide allies with a set of tools they can use to engage fellow community members, elected officials, testify with a strong “story of self” that wins hearts and minds, and more. I’ll provide details as we finalize the dates, locations, and other logistics.
- We will also be asking New Hampshire members of our action network to take action in contacting their representatives, engaging the media, and more.
- And we’ll be partnering with allied organizations and leading activists on the ground to coordinate work, generate efficiency, and keep our efforts nimble.
- And that’s just to start.
For those of you who want to help, the best thing you can do (for now) is to give the heads-up to your friends, family, and colleagues in the state. Many of them may not be aware that this is coming up. Make sure they know and to look for ways to help. They may be needed, as Rep. Serlin wrote, to testify in Concord. If they aren’t Courage Campaign members and aren’t signed up to receive our action alerts or notices of Camp Courage trainings, they can sign up at the top right on this page. And there will be some ways outside folks can help, as well.
So to summarize, lack of chatter doesn’t mean lack of action. Rest assured the train is on the tracks and we’re steaming ahead towards doing everything in our power to win this fight. And as we did together on repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, I’m looking forward to doing it with everyone here. Onward!