Tuesday, the Portsmouth City Council voted to sign onto a “friend of the court” brief opposing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Portsmouth joins dozens of cities around the country in opposing the act, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman for federal law.
The Portsmouth Herald gave the council a “thumbs up” for the action and singled out former state Rep. Jim Splaine for making it happen:
Thumbs up also go to Jim Splaine, a former lawmaker who helped lead the effort to pass same-sex marriage in New Hampshire four years ago, for encouraging the council to join the fight.
New Hampshire is among a growing number of states to end discrimination against same-sex couples. It is time for the federal government to also acknowledge that we no longer live in a time when our brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends can be denied their rights because of their sexual orientation.
As Splaine proved in New Hampshire, you keep up the good fight until the right resolution is reached. The council signing on to the effort to repeal DOMA is one small step along the way.
The council’s action was the “right thing to do,” said Splaine. “DOMA really does hurt people, Portsmouth has a long history of being respectful and non-discriminatory to all citizens regardless of their backgrounds.”
Former state Rep. Jim Splaine projects big gains for Democrats in November — despite the billions of dollars that will be spent to “convince us of untruths.”
Voters will hold the Republican Party accountable for their “greed, hate and reactionary anti-American ideas,” he writes in today’s Portsmouth Herald, and we “won’t be swayed by billions spent to sell us snake oil.”
I have never seen a political party self-destruct by cheerleading greed, hate and reactionary anti-American ideas as much as the 2010-2012 version of the Republican Party — statewide and nationally.
The actions of Republican right-wingers, and their “Tea Party” and “Free State” followers, in Concord and Washington has brought shame to the many good, thoughtful moderate Republicans who have become enablers-of-the-loonies by their silence, or acquiescence. …
Fact is, the Republican right has tried to stop America in its tracks. These reactionaries have tried, nationally and in our own state, to destroy public education, which has made America strong for over two centuries. They have a war on women, on working women and men, and on our poor and senior citizens. They have assaulted our gays and lesbians. They’ve been anti-science, anti-health care, anti-education, anti-environment.
Writing in the Portsmouth Herald, Joey Cresta quotes “politicians from both sides of the aisle” who call the scandal surrounding House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt’s sudden resignation ”the latest crack in the crumbling facade of the GOP in the Granite State.”
GOP Rep. Brian Murphy claims the scandal will not have a negative impact on Republican fortunes in November. The record of legislation passed by the GOP majority, he says, should “speak louder and longer” to voters than Bettencourt’s resignation.
In an online comment, former Rep. Jim Splaine agrees:
Interesting observation. Because yes, he’s right — the legislation that the Republicans tried to push during the past two years should speak loud — it is that legislation, such as trying to repeal marriage equality, pushing so-called right-to-work laws, destroying public education and our college system, removing important environmental and consumer and employee regulations over businesses and corporations, cutting help to cities and towns, having a war on women’s equality, eliminating the minimum wage — THAT is why Republicans in the legislature should be replaced.
As if to confirm the warning from Blue Hampshire writer jpmassar that the “next battle for marriage equality will be fought in New Hampshire,” Maggie Gallagher has explicitly targeted the Granite State:
In recent media appearances, National Organization for Marriage (NOM) board chair Maggie Gallagher has countered the suggestion that NOM might not be able to reverse the recent legalization of gay marriage in New York with two words: New Hampshire.
As Gallagher told the National Review Online last month, “NOM’s next immediate challenge is to get a vote reversing gay marriage in New Hampshire — to show once again, as we did in Maine, that history is not unidirectional.”
“New Hampshire is gonna vote to reverse gay marriage in January, I would predict,” Gallagher said.
Jim Splaine provides the call to action:
We also need every Democrat we can encourage to vote for marriage equality in January, 2012. We need to contact Democrats — as well as Republicans — who are in the House and tell them our stories. Neighbor-to-neighbor, we can win.
We won gay marriage by showing our faces and telling our stories. That’s how we’ll keep it.
Governor John Lynch and Democrats have “lost” the veto overrides on some horrible legislation, but really he and Democrats won in so many other ways. … You lose a battle now and then, but when you stand for people and on the side of freedom and rights, you win so much more.
— Former State Rep. Jim Splaine, on bills eliminating the state minimum wage, requiring parental notification for minors receiving abortions and forbidding localities to require fire suppression systems.