NH Republican Ex-Marine Wants to Defend Gay Marriage

Which part of that headline doesn’t make your head explode?

Craig Stowell, an ex-Marine and co-chair of Standing Up For New Hampshire Families, has rounded 117,000 signatures on an online petition to urge New Hampshire lawmakers to reject new legislation that would define marriage as between a man and a woman.

I think (in fact, I know) I can speak on behalf of the majority of Granite Staters when I say, yawn.

It seems like these challenges crop up once every few years around the country, and they always seem to be backed by doomsday conservative religious groups who want to make super triple sure that everyone’s cool with the whole gay marriage thing. They ought to tack the following phrase onto each of these bills: “Just in case, you know, you changed your mind.”

New this time: A prophesy from Rep. Gregory Sorg, R-Easton, who is apparently asking his fellow legislatures to fear the future. “Some societal changes take generations to manifest themselves,” he said in a comment to the Union Leader.

The latest effort, which the NH legislature could take up as early as this week, seeks to rollback the law allowing gay marriage in the state, which went into effect in January 2010. (Read the full text here.)

The challenger is Craig Stowell, whose brother Calvin was subject to ridicule because of his sexual identity while he was growing up. Stowell’s hope is pretty simple: “When I enlisted in the Marines, I took an oath to defend freedom and liberty, and now I’m defending my brother’s freedom here at home,” he said in a statement. “When my wife, Berta, and I were married, Calvin was right there by my side as my best man. I want the opportunity to be his best man when he finds the person he wants to marry.”

And though the thought of a Republican soldier becoming the face of an anti-anti gay marriage agenda seems odd, the truth is that gay marriage is gaining wide acceptance across the country. In addition to the six states that now allow men to marry men and women to marry women, the general sentiment among the voters has steadily tipped in favor same-sex marriage.

In a nationwide poll conducted in late 2011 by ABC News/Washington Post , 51 percent of those surveyed said same-sex marriage ought to be legal, while 45 percent thought it should be illegal (4 percent were unsure, and the margin of error was 3.5 percent).

That sounds like a pretty strong voice in support of gay marriage. Maybe some day legislators will hear it.