Thursday, April 26, 2007

New Hampshire enacts Civil Unions

Today, New Hampshire became the first state in the country to adopt civil unions for gay couples without a court order or a pending lawsuit against a marriage statute. And the bill even uses the term, "spousal union" to describe gay relationships. Once again, the Granite State stands in the vanguard of liberty for all.

Two years ago, state lawmakers held a series of "information gathering" meetings around the state. I attended the meeting held in Keene, NH, at the Keene Public Library.

The 'agenda' was set from the beginning. The overflow crowd of residents who had come to make their opinions known were told they would have to wait until the 'special guests' got to speak. The 'guests' were anti-civil union activists from Massachusetts.

That's right, New Hampshire legislators came to gather public opinions...but the residents of New Hampshire who took the time and effort to stand up in public and offer their opinion were delayed until the out-of state, non-resident, non-voting 'experts,' chosen by the panel itself, could tell us all what a disaster civil unions would be.

As the panel then turned to the audience, we were warned over and over that any disruption or impoliteness would result in the panels getting up and leaving. (Now there's a great example for lawmakers to set, huh?) Mere objections to allowing out of state testimony were promptly classified as disruptions, and people who's voices were shaking with nervousness at their first 'public hearing' were nastily shot down by the panel chair.

Predictably, the panel recommended a ban on same-sex unions.

Appropriately, the residents of New Hampshire threw them out at the next election.

Throughout the national media, one hears tales that New Hampshire has gone from 'conservative' to 'liberal' in one election. In actuality, nothing is furter from the truth: New Hampshire never *was* conservative. New Hampshire was, is, and remains, a libertarian state. In the area of taxes, firearms rights, and government regulation of business, the Republicans were the guardian of libertarian values. But today, as big brother Federal government pokes it nose into our library reading lists and our bedrooms, the Democrats are our best bet for guarding our liberties.

The average Granite Stater doesnt care who their neighbor sleeps with. And they dont care to have the government telling them what to do. For years, we relied on Republicans to carry the torch of liberty. Now, the Democrats have their chance....and this was another step in the direction of liberty.