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Join us for Camp Courage in New Hampshire

Marriage equality

By Adam Bink

A few weeks ago I wrote about our efforts taking off in New Hampshire to protect the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.

Today, we’re announcing the dates and locations of our Camp Courage trainings in the state, in partnership with Granite State Progress. See our e-mail below. If you are in the state, please join us! And if you have friends in the state, send them the details. These are the tools to start doing the hard work of protecting hard-won equality.

You can RSVP here:

And you can share with your friends on Facebook by clicking here.

And by the way, check out who the invitation is from below. You may recognize the name- Rep. Serlin comments here on P8TT. I asked him if he would consider joining with us, and he was 100% onboard. So thanks to Rep. Serlin. Another way P8TT builds our movement!

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: New Hampshire State Representative Christopher Serlin, for Courage Campaign <>
Date: Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 9:21 AM
Subject: Please join us to protect equality
To: Adam Bink

Courage Campaign
Dear Friend: 

It did not take long. The freedom to marry for same-sex couples is under attack in New Hampshire.

I’ve already seen it in Concord, where I’m proud to represent Portsmouth in New Hampshire’s State House of Representatives. You’ve probably seen the news- opponents are already working on legislation to take away rights from New Hampshire’s citizens. Whether through an outright repeal or a Constitutional Amendment, they and their allies want to undo our years of hard work. But we’re not going to let equality be taken away without fighting back.

On January 22nd-31st, in collaboration with Granite State Progress, concerned citizens will be gathering around the state for organizing workshops to discuss recent legislative threats to take away marriage rights from same-sex couples, and how we can organize in our community to protect equality.

Please join us for one of five special Granite State Camp Courage trainings in your neighborhood. Click here to see the details and find the training nearest you.

Modeled on the “Camp Obama” training events that helped propel President Obama into the White House, Camp Courage uses the “Story of Self” to transform personal experiences — each participant’s unique inspiration for supporting marriage equality — into compelling and authentic narratives that can persuade community members and elected officials. It’s a proven method that has worked.

I am proud to have run my campaigns for office on a platform of supporting the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, and to have been a part of achieving that historic success here in New Hampshire. During that long struggle, I saw many of my colleagues come around because their communities organized to tell them these important stories — the right way.

Since the freedom to marry became a reality, over 1,000 gay and lesbian couples have found happiness, and have been recognized as fully equal under the law, while no one’s marriage has been harmed — including my wife’s and mine. Camp Courage will help train activists on the best proven methods of telling that story.

Come to a Camp Courage near you. I’ll be attending the one in Portsmouth myself. You can find the details and training nearest you by clicking here.

It’s never the right time to hurt New Hampshire families. It’s always the right time to stand up for equality. That’s the New Hampshire Way.

I will fight in Concord to protect our citizens’ rights. I need your help, and your voice.

Please join me — starting at Camp Courage.

All my best,

Christopher Serlin
NH State Representative
Portsmouth, NH

The Courage Campaign is a multi-issue online organizing network that empowers more than 700,000 grassroots and netroots supporters to push for progressive change and full equality in California and across the country.


  • 1. Kathleen  |  January 19, 2011 at 5:30 am

    Adam, there is something in the formatting that is cutting off the right margin on the Courage Campaign announcement. This has been happening now for a while, with letters (DiFi's, Cleve Jones's, etc.). I'm not sure if it's just with some browsers, but others have noticed too.

  • 2. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 19, 2011 at 5:36 am

    Way to go! Wishing you all the best with Camp Courage in NH. Take it to the streets! Take it to the courthouse! Take it to the State House! Take it to the White House!

  • 3. Sagesse  |  January 19, 2011 at 5:42 am

    Well played. This is the way to build a coalition.

  • 4. Ronnie  |  January 19, 2011 at 5:43 am

    Take it to the House of Pancakes …..what?….you can't work on an empty stomach…..<3…Ronnie

  • 5. David Henderson  |  January 19, 2011 at 5:54 am

    The problem is that the letter is in a table that's 640 pixels wide, while the column itself is only 600 pixels wide. Thus, the last 40 pixels of text are essentially hidden behind the navigation strip on the right. The 640 pixels is included in the post itself, while the 600 pixels comes from the "#content" rule in this style sheet:

  • 6. Ann S.  |  January 19, 2011 at 6:08 am

    Go, Camp Courage!

  • 7. Phillip R  |  January 19, 2011 at 6:11 am

    Good luck! Keep the fight going.

  • 8. Manilow  |  January 19, 2011 at 6:31 am

    I registered for a Camp Courage in LA – but it was cancelled (this was when the first trial was still underway). Any news on anything else happening in LA soon?

  • 9. Kathleen  |  January 19, 2011 at 9:19 am

    UPDATE – Mass DOMA cases.

    The government filed its corrected opening brief.

    In an accompanying letter (, the government explains that it made two revisions:
    1) added a table of contents for the addendum.
    2) corrects another error in the original filing by including a statutory addendum, at page Add. 88.

    If I'm understanding the original court order on this matter, this shifts the deadlines in the cases back by 6 days. Hopefully the court will issue a new briefing schedule.

    In another matter, the court also noted that NOM's amicus brief was missing some of the required statements necessary to conform to the court's rules. The filed a corrected brief immediately, with no real difference in the new brief (just added the necessary statements required of all briefs), so I won't be uploading the corrected brief.

  • 10. adambink  |  January 19, 2011 at 9:46 am

    "been harmed"

    Yes, it's a problem. Part of the long list of things.

  • 11. JonT  |  January 19, 2011 at 10:00 am

  • 12. Michael Herman  |  January 19, 2011 at 10:56 am

    We need to get something going up here in Oregon. We have our own Prop 8, known as Measure 36 here.

  • 13. AB  |  January 19, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Does anyone have any info on what is happening in Iowa?
    I am afraid; I think Iowa is a really important state and I really don't want to lose there.

  • 14. Kathleen  |  January 19, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    This story is from S.F. Gate, but every time I try to post the link, the comment disappears. So hopefully, you can google and find it:

    Court win for same-sex couples seeking benefits
    In a victory for gay-rights advocates, a federal judge has ruled that state employees in California can sue for discrimination over the federal government's exclusion of their same-sex spouses from a long-term health care program.

    U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken of Oakland denied an Obama administration request to dismiss the suit Tuesday and signaled that she is likely to overturn provisions of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to same-sex couples.

    The case is Dragovich v. U.S. Dept of the Treasury

  • 15. Lodi Gal  |  January 19, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I just tried to post that story as well and was not able to.

  • 16. Kathleen  |  January 19, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Yeah, a total mystery. The comment just disappeared into the ether whenever I included the link. I tried several times.

  • 17. Sagesse  |  January 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Obnoxious man.

    Law Professors for Judicial Imperialism

  • 18. Kathleen  |  January 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm


  • 19. Sagesse  |  January 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Did someone just put a dollar in the spin machine?

    VIDEO: We’re all bigots now. (Prop 8)

  • 20. Sagesse  |  January 19, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Sounds like a fine excuse for a counter-protest

    Tim Pawlenty To Meet With Iowa Anti-Gay Marriage Group;…

  • 21. Sagesse  |  January 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Does anyone know where Bishop Jackson's 41% statistic comes from? Sounds like a ringing endorsement of traditional marriage as the universal solution to all the problems facing children.

    “Already, 41% of children born today are deprived of a mother and father who have first chosen to make themselves irreplaceable to each through marriage.”

    Supreme Court Has 'Violated' Children's Rights In Rejecting Gay Marriage Appeal;…

  • 22. Sagesse  |  January 19, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Have we mentioned that we're anti-gay?

    Minnesota Catholics unveil legislative agenda: Ban on gay marriage, help for the poor

    Does it not compromise the tax exempt status of a religious institution to publish its 'legislative agenda'?

  • 23. Ann S.  |  January 19, 2011 at 2:38 pm


  • 24. Ann S.  |  January 19, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    I know those law professors. They are each worth about 20 of him.

  • 25. Kathleen  |  January 19, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    There's this report mentioned in a NYT story from 2009:

    Of course, there's the obvious question – what does this have to do with barring ss couples from marriage? How is it they make these statements without realizing out of left field they are?

  • 26. Sagesse  |  January 19, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Iowa update. The measure will not be heard by the senate, but it's a nasty piece of legislation regardless.

    Anti-gay marriage amendment introduced in Iowa House

  • 27. Straight Ally #3008  |  January 19, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Hang on then…could this be another DOMA test case that could reach the Supreme Court?

  • 28. Kathleen  |  January 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    It appears so. Plaintiffs are looking to certify it as a class action. Both parties are asking the court to approve a schedule on the question of class certification that would begin with briefs in mid April and a hearing early June.

  • 29. Ed  |  January 19, 2011 at 5:49 pm


  • 30. New Hampshire State&hellip  |  January 19, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    […] Join us for Camp Courage in New Hampshire « Prop 8 Trial Tracker I've already seen it in Concord, where I'm proud to represent Portsmouth in New Hampshire's State House of Representatives. You've probably seen the news- opponents are already working on legislation to take away rights from New . […]

  • 31. Peterplumber  |  January 19, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    I read all the comments on that blog post. They talk about homosexuality being a choice. {Peter rolls his eyes}
    I posted the following (which didn't show up, apparently awaiting scrutiny of their sensors):
    Regarding choice…
    It really upsets me to hear straight people say that homosexuality is a choice. I am gay. I did not choose to be gay. When I was a teenager and young man, I tried hard NOT to be gay. I was making a choice to try to be straight. I had a few girlfriends, and even had sex with them. It just wasn't natural for me. I knew it the whole time I was doing it. I also had a boyfriend as a teenager. This felt much more natural to me. Every time I knew we were going to "do it" I was ready before we even got our clothes off. When I was with girls, I had to work to get ready…if you know what I mean.
    I never asked to be gay. I never wanted to be gay. I never chose to be gay. I spent too much of my youth trying to be straight, trying to make myself into something I am not just to please someone else. I think this is where people on the outside looking in think it is a choice, because I gave all the practical impression I was straight, then (seemingly) one day I "decided" to be gay. Sorry. I know it may seem to you that I made a choice, but if you knew the inner turmoil I suffered through for all those years, you would understand.

  • 32. anonygrl  |  January 19, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    But WOW! There is a rather LONG and REASONABLE debate going on after that post. Check it out! Interestingly, NOM is letting someone from our side have a say, and what she is saying is well spoken, well reasoned and informative.

    True to form, some of the opposing comments veer into the "cats and dogs will lie down together!" mode but for the most part, both sides are actually reasonably presented.

    See? Even NOM can learn and grow. Good for you Brian!

  • 33. AB  |  January 20, 2011 at 12:16 am

    I am confused. I found a link for the Complaint, but I am not finding an Order or Decision.

  • 34. Kathleen  |  January 20, 2011 at 12:24 am

    I have a copy. Write to me at prop8TT at gmail dot com and I'll send you a copy.

  • 35. Ronnie  |  January 20, 2011 at 1:44 am

    Those Who Lived the Struggle to End Segregation Now Speak Out for Same-Gender Marriage Equality

    These are just a few of the quotes from the article:

    Coretta Scott King (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s wife:

    "Gays and lesbians stood up for civil rights in Montgomery, Selma, in Albany, Georgia, and St. Augustine, Florida, and many other campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement. Many of these courageous men and women were fighting for my freedom at a time when they could find few voices for their own, and I salute their contributions."

    "Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing, and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages."

    John Lewis (was a young leader of the Civil Rights Movement. He was 23 years old when he spoke at the 1963 March on Washington.):

    "We are now at such a crossroads over same-sex couples' freedom to marry. It is time to say forthrightly that the government's exclusion of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters from civil marriage officially degrades them and their families. It denies them the basic human right to marry the person they love. It denies them numerous legal protections for their families."

    "This discrimination is wrong. We cannot keep turning our backs on gay and lesbian Americans. I have fought too hard and too long against discrimination based on race and color not to stand up against discrimination based on sexual orientation. I've heard the reasons for opposing civil marriage for same-sex couples. Cut through the distractions, and they stink of the same fear, hatred, and intolerance I have known in racism and in bigotry."

    Reverend Bob and wife, Jeannie Graetz (Bob Graetz was the only white minister to march with Martin Luther King Jr. during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. He and his wife Jeannie served an all-black Lutheran congregation in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. Because of their participation in the boycott, their home was bombed twice.):

    "We are a retired Lutheran pastor and spouse, whose oldest son was born gay, and who at the age of 37 died with AIDS. Having spent years coming to grips with and trying to understand the concept of homosexuality, we have ultimately come to recognize this condition as a special gift of God conveyed to some of his carefully selected daughters and sons. We have come to know personally thousands of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons. And we have also become convinced that this condition is part of the 'creative given' rather than a personal choice by those individuals."

    Julian Bond (Chairman of the Board of the NAACP):

    "That's why when I am asked, 'Are gay rights civil rights?' my answer is always, 'Of course they are.'"

    Mildred Loving (Loving v. Virginia…Interracial Marriage):

    "Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don't think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the 'wrong kind of person' for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people's religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people's civil rights………………I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard's and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving, and loving, are all about."


  • 36. Kathleen  |  January 20, 2011 at 1:46 am

    Powerful stuff!!

  • 37. Kathleen  |  January 20, 2011 at 1:47 am

    AB, the ORDER is now uploaded to Scribd:

  • 38. Juli  |  January 20, 2011 at 2:33 am

    I live in Des Moines. So far the Iowa house has proposed a measure to change the Iowa constitution to ban same-sex marriage as well as civil unions or domestic partnerships. No democrats are sponsoring the measure, 56 of the 60 republicans are sponsoring it. It will probably pass in the house when it is brought up for a vote. In the senate, majority leader Mike Gronstal has promised that he will not allow it to come up for a vote.
    In order for the Iowa constitution to be amended, both houses of the legislature would have to pass the SAME measure in two concurrent sessions, then it would go to the people for a vote. The soonest this can happen is 2013.

  • 39. AB  |  January 20, 2011 at 3:08 am

    I heart you Kathleen!

  • 40. Ann S.  |  January 20, 2011 at 3:28 am

    Thank you, Juli, good to know.

  • 41. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  January 20, 2011 at 8:25 am

    its lovely ronnie : ) Take that Alveeda!

    Love to Arisha wherever you are!

  • 42. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 21, 2011 at 3:03 am

    Thank you, Ronnie. I am typing through tears of renewed gratitude for our civil rights leaders, and for you being kind enough to post this. Hope all is going well with your relocation to NYC, and your new line! All the best to you!

  • 43. Chris in Lathrop  |  January 22, 2011 at 1:18 am

    I wish I could speak on Courage's behalf for you, but all I can say is that I hope and do what little I can to advance freedom everywhere. I just looked up measure 36, and for a 2004 initiative with a 57%-43% ratio, it seems to have been a rather close battle. Mayhap Oregon will be the first state to give NOM the finger and reverse itself on H8red at the polls. Otherwise, it'll take another Perry.

  • 44. Chris in Lathrop  |  January 22, 2011 at 1:24 am

    What a beautiful sentiment, Peter! Maybe somebody should start a website à la the "It Gets Better Project" to show the straight fence-sitters what we non-straights go through to try to be "normal".

  • 45. Ronnie  |  January 22, 2011 at 7:15 am

    You're welcome, Richard…hear, hear to that gratitude for these amazing leaders…..The apartment find is coming up short…going to see a few next week….My line is coming along…almost done with the ruff sketches…starting on the final designs & the technical aspects of the designs…should be able to start constructing samples soon…thank you for the best wishes…& same to you, all the best to you & your husband…Hopefully by May everything should be ready to go…& you guys can come to the launch….I'll keep you posted…..<3….Ronnie

  • 46. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 22, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Looking forward to it. Especially because that would mean getting to meet not only you, but you mom, and hopefully other P8TT'ers who live in the area!

  • 47. The Prop. 8 Trial a Year &hellip  |  January 23, 2011 at 9:02 am

    […] Progress (our sister organization) and the Cleve Jones Wellness Center in New Hampshire holding Camp Courage trainings to train folks on how to tell their own stories and how to use our brand new […]

  • 48. The values of stories in &hellip  |  February 18, 2011 at 11:51 am

    […] more to attend in person, all wearing red. We outnumbered NOM by more than 15-1. Last month we ran five Camp Courage trainings across the state to get the word out about the attack on equality, to teach activists about […]

  • 49. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  July 1, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    […] and everywhere in between. Basically, it makes us all more effective organizers. We ran a series of Camp Courage trainings in New Hampshire (which many of you helped fund) to give local organizers new skills to rise up and beat back […]

  • 50. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  July 15, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    […] our Camp Courage program, the same program that, under the wing of Arisha, Anthony and Phyllis, trained New Hampshire residents to fight back against attempts to repeal the same-sex marriage law earlier this year. We’ve […]

  • 51. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  March 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    […] helped do this by funding Camp Courage; we worked with volunteers all across New Hampshire to fight this early […]

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