Ken Mehlman: Republicans shouldbe for same-sex marriageKen Mehlman“Live Free or Die” isn’t just the official motto for a g...
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Ken Mehlman

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Ken Mehlman- in honor of Pride Month here's a piece on why both parties should be in favor of same-sex marriage, courtesy of Ken Mehlman and the Union Leader: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20120126/OPINION02/701269967

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Ken Mehlman

  1. 1. Ken Mehlman: Republicans shouldbe for same-sex marriageKen Mehlman“Live Free or Die” isn’t just the official motto for a great state. As the 62nd Republican NationalCommittee Chairman, I think it’s a mantra our party should live by. I hope that New Hampshirelegislators will remember this slogan and reject proposals to strip citizens of their right to marry.The party of Lincoln and Reagan should stand first and foremost for freedom. It’s part of ourheritage and ought to be part of our DNA. Freedom for Americans of all races is why our partywas founded. And our greatest moments — from the unbelievable economic recovery unleashedby lower taxes and less regulation to the fall of the Berlin Wall — resulted when we promotedfreedom.Stripping away the right of adults in New Hampshire to marry the person they love is antitheticalto freedom. If we really believe (and we should) that every citizen is endowed by their creator withthe right to pursue happiness, shouldn’t this include the right to marriage? If we believe in limitedgovernment, how can we justify expanding the authority of the state to take away this mostpersonal, fundamental right? Aren’t politicians already too involved in too much of our lives? Whywould we want to expand government to such a personal space?Allowing New Hampshire citizens to marry the person they love isn’t just consistent withmaximizing freedom. It also promotes responsibility, commitment and stability; it promotes familyvalues. Again, our history provides a good road map: One of our party’s finest hours was thepassage of welfare reform because it strengthened families and promoted marriage. Why wouldwe want to take away this right from anyone?New Hampshire’s civil marriage law protects religious freedom. No religious institution has toperform or recognize same-sex marriages. This is important because different religious traditionshave different views on this question.But despite these differences, so many of our faiths and traditions are rooted in the Golden Rule:Do unto others as you would want done to you. Isn’t allowing adults to marry the person they loveconsistent with the Golden Rule? If you were born gay (as I was), how would you feel if your stategovernment took away this basic civil right that is available to all of your neighbors? How wouldyou feel if you were a young person and were told by your state that the loving and stabilizingrelationship you see in your mom and dad would never be available to you?During my time in politics, I always believed that good policy is good politics. Looking at the viewsof New Hampshire voters, it’s pretty clear that stripping the right to marry is bad policy and badpolitics. Sixty-two percent of New Hampshire voters oppose taking away the right to marry.I will be in New Hampshire this week — to urge legislative members of my party to reject HouseBill 437. It’s time to stand up for individual freedom and liberty, to live by the Golden Rule and tooppose any effort to diminish or strip away individual rights, and to return to the real business ofbuilding business, keeping taxes down and growing our economy. “Live Free or Die” should bemore than just a slogan.Ken Mehlman, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, is a businessman inNew York.

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