Sunday, April 22, 2007

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

John Lynch, Governor of New Hampshire, recently announced that he would sign into law a civil unions bill that recently passed in the House, and is expected to pass in the Senate.

In response, the Union Leader wrote up this editorial castigating his decision. It is truly a marvel of muddled thinking. First they whine about passing a law for the benefit of "a small group." But at the end of the article they go on about imaginary "fiscal cost[s] to the New Hampshire taxpayer and to its relief system when these couples start demanding their welfare and health benefit rights." Is New Hampshire's budget in such a sorry state that health benefits for "a small group" would ruin the state?

They also complain that passing the law would "push New Hampshire to the very fringe of liberal social policy-making", yet admit that "[f]ew people want to discriminate against others concerning basic human rights. Most people, certainly in New Hampshire, are of the live-and-let-live kind." Polling in New Hampshire has consistently shown around half of the population in favor of civil unions--hardly "the very fringe." In fact, the Union Leader itself reported
Bill supporters yesterday pointed to a February survey that showed 74 percent who responded to a University of New Hampshire poll said they would not be bothered by civil marriages, with 61 percent supporting the idea.

"Had the survey focused on civil unions, the politically safer ground in HB 437, the results would undoubtedly have indicated even higher levels of support," said Dawn Touzin, chair of the state Freedom to Marry Coalition.

Even on an internet poll of Union Leader readers, 46.7% favored the bill. And those who were against it... well, let's look at what they had to say:
"Do you really think that two April Nor'easters on the exact same days of the voting of this bill ... are a coincidence? I personally think God is not entirely pleased with the way the state of New Hampshire is voting in regards to gay and lesbian lifestyles. Remember Sodom and Gomorrah?" wrote Isaac Masana of Somersworth.


David Holt of Derry commented that allowing anything other than a marriage between a man and woman would lead "to a tragic downfall of our society."


Bill Maynard of Manchester, however, believes the "same-sex union concept is totally misguided. We are not talking about equal rights. We're talking about perversion of nature and of God's will. It's immoral and unnatural. ...Next misguided ignorant perverts will request marriage of minors, multiple persons, animals, trees, whatever. The perversion must be stopped now!!"

Kevin Jordan of Nottingham also believes it is wrong. "The nation was built upon marriage between one man and one woman ... This tradition goes back 10,000 years. Who are we to play God and change the order of the universe?" he wrote.

But no, it's the people who talked about basic fairness and equality that are on "the very fringe" of society.

And that's just scraping the surface of the idiocy of that editorial. It goes so much deeper.

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