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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Let my brother get married

I served as a Marine in Iraq to defend freedom and liberty. But now the New Hampshire state legislature might take away an essential freedom from my brother Calvin, who is gay, and thousands of others: the freedom to marry the people they love.
New Hampshire finally granted marriage equality two years ago. It was a great day for my family. But the New Hampshire legislature may repeal that freedom -- they could vote to ban marriage equality as soon as this Thursday. 
Growing up, my brother Calvin was tormented for being gay. The pain he felt is a direct reflection of the isolation caused by telling LGBT people that they do not have the same rights as every other law abiding citizen: that they are not worthy of marriage.
I’m a conservative Republican, and I believe in small government. I don’t think our legislators have any business telling my brother he can’t get married. The people of New Hampshire don’t want marriage equality to be repealed, either -- more than 60% of people in New Hampshire support keeping the equal marriage law in place.
So far, more than 2,000 Granite Staters and 72,000 people across the country have signed my petition. Miley Cyrus even tweeted about it. But we haven’t won yet. The NH legislature needs to hear from people like you and me who support everyone’s freedom to get married. Please click here to sign my petition now.
Thank you for your time,
- Craig

P.S. Here's the email Eden from Change.org sent over the weekend with more information about my petition.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Eden James, Change.org
Subject: URGENT: Marriage equality at stake in NH
Dear friend,
While the country is distracted by the New Hampshire primary, New Hampshire’s state legislature is swiftly moving to abolish marriage equality. They could vote on the issue as soon as this Thursday.
Craig Stowell is a New Hampshire native who recently testified at the New Hampshire statehouse to ask the legislature not to pass HB 437, the bill that would abolish marriage equality. But Craig isn’t gay -- in fact, he’s a straight married Marine, and a conservative Republican. 
But Craig knows firsthand how damaging it can be when the government says it’s okay to treat the LGBT community like second-class citizens. Craig’s brother Calvin was horribly bullied as a kid because he’s gay. “There were nights that I worried I may wake up and he wouldn’t be there any longer; crushed by the misery he was forced to endure,” Craig says.
So Craig started a petition on Change.org asking the New Hampshire legislature to reject HB 437. The vote could come in a matter of days. Please click here to sign Craig’s petition right now -- your signature will be delivered to the New Hampshire legislature immediately.
Since New Hampshire legalized marriage equality in 2009, more than 1,800 loving same-sex couples have been married. Polls show that a large majority of New Hampshire residents support that right -- 62%, according to a recent poll from the University of New Hampshire.
"When my wife Berta and I were married, Calvin was right there by my side as my best man,” Craig says. “I want the opportunity to be his best man when he finds the person he wants to marry. With your help, I know we can ensure that freedom will still be there when he does."
New Hampshire legislators may think they can sneak in HB 437 during the ruckus surrounding the New Hampshire primary, but they need to know that their actions are being watched and that people in New Hampshire and around the country won’t stand for this vicious step backward.
Thanks for being a change-maker,
- Eden and the Change.org team

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