New Hampshire Lawmaker Tries To Explain Why Marriage Equality Is Bad

HopperThe New Hampshire House will vote on HB 437 this week; an ugly little piece of legislation which could repeal the state's 2009 marriage equality law. As Andy reported Wednesday, the House will also vote on something known as the "Bates House Amendment," which will put the following question on the November ballot:

Shall New Hampshire law allow civil unions for same-sex couples and define marriage as the union of one man and one woman?

Note how, at a glance, the question appears to be pro-gay rights. It's tricksy that way precisely because Rep. David Bates, the Wyndham Republican who spoke grandly last week about the importance of New Hampshirites having their say, knows that heavy majorities in his state don't want to roll back extant marriage equality laws.

Well — HB 437 has at least one staunch ally in the New Hampshire State legislature who feels no need for that kind of lingual pussyfooting. That's Rep. Gary Hopper, a Republican from Weare. He's taken to his Facebook page to explain the importance of HB 437, and here's what he says:

HB437 The Repeal of Same Sex Marriage is going to be voted on this week.

I will be voting for it.

NH Constitution Part First “[Art.] 6. [Morality and Piety.] As morality and piety, rightly grounded on high principles, will give the best and greatest security to government, and will lay, in the hearts of men, the strongest obligations to due subjection;” 

Piety (reverence for God and Family)

The idea is simple, if people are self regulated by their own moral compass less government is needed to keep the peace.

Traditional marriage has provided the best environment to raise children but it was severely diminished in the 1970s by no-fault divorce.
That change made the focus of marriage on the individual and not the family. Since that change teen suicides have gone up 10x, the social cost has been mind boggling. In fact over 90% of the children in the care of the Department of Child Youth Services are from single parent or broken homes not to mention how many young people who have ended up in prison as a result.

The traditional family is the best place to raise children and any further erosion of that standard only destroys our country more and increases the size and scope of government.

Rep Gary S Hopper
Weare NH

Strong families= Small government

"If we want less government, we must have stronger families, for government steps in by necessity when families have failed."

That's what New Hampshirites are up against. It doesn't for a moment occur to Hopper that the "morality and piety" mentioned in the NH Constitution might mean something very different to (say) a Unitarian than it does to him. And he doesn't understand that his own words —

…if people are self regulated by their own moral compass less government is needed…

— undermine both his own position and New Hampshire's famously individualist spirit. "Self-regulated," "their own moral compass" — gays have selves, too, and moral compasses. Hopper doesn't know this. Someone should tell him

The paper he cites as evidence of his position, by the way, isn't about marriage equality. It's a Heritage Foundation paper from the year 2000, discussing the evils of no-fault divorce. In general, its message seems to be that more marriage is good, less marriage is bad. Noted.

UPDATE: Previous typo misidentified Gary Hopper as "Gay Hopper." Corrected, gigglingly.


  1. Hue-Man says

    As usual, these are the arguments to ban DIVORCE, not arguments against marriage equality.

  2. timesmasher says

    I’d like to see what evidence he has for his assertion that
    “traditional marriage has provided the best environment for raising children”. Does it occur to this idiot that many of the single-parent families and broken homes started out as “traditional marriages”? Bet that was a good environment for raising kids.

    In fact, there are several reputable studies that demonstrate that kids in families with same sex parents are just as healthy and well-adjusted as kids with opposite sex parents. Those studies have been included as reference in the Prop 8 and Iowa trials on marriage equality. If there were any real evidence to the contrary, the Prop 8 defense would surely have produced it. There is none.

  3. MIke says

    “The idea is simple, if people are self regulated by their own moral compass less government is needed to keep the peace.”

    I swear, if there was one thing I’d change about our education system, it would be no graduation until you pass a logic and critical thinking course. It would kill the Republican party.

    He supports a law that puts government in the middle of a couple’s relationship as a means to get government out of people’s lives. Breathtakingly idiotic.

  4. Mark says

    Ironic how the Republicans decry government interference when it comes to economic issues–but feel it is a God-given right to interfere when it comes to social issues and controlling people’s personal lives.

  5. says

    i’m completely and utterly confused as to why “children need a mother and a father” keeps being used as an argument against “marriage equality.”

    banning gay couples from marrying in no way stops them from having children. many gay couples, like many straight couples, will not have children.

    i truly don’t know why judges and legislators keep *allowing* this bogus non-argument argument into the mix.

    these are not people lobbying to stop LGBT Couples from conceiving children on their own, or using surrogates, or even truly adopting. children of LGBT couples are the ones put at a disadvantage by these anti-marriage-equality legislations.

    stopping LGBT couples from marrying will not, in any way, stop straight couples from having children and not getting married.

    will some Smarter Mind in law ever address this?

  6. GeorgeM says

    The idea that we’re all going to have the same moral compass is stupid. We’re individuals not extensions of eachother

  7. says

    i’m still puzzled by religiously-fueled “morality”…..

    especially since “this is a Christian Nation!” is never used to extend grace, understanding and compassion. it’s never the rallying cry for universal healthcare. and if people care about “Sodomites” as much as they seem to, they’d do well to actually open up their bibles – it’s rather explicit that sodomy aint no sex act, and aint no “gay thing” – its’ the selfish hoarding of wealth and a refusal to distribute it and share with those who are less fortunate.

    its’ right there in the blinkin’ bible.

  8. neptune says

    New Hampshire – The Live Free or Die State, Unless You’re Gay!

    I don’t think they have the supermajority to get this through and I hope the Dems are sure to point out how, in an election year at that, the Republicans of NH only have one thing on their mind: gay sex.

    Even if they can override the veto, this will wind up going to the courts, where the set precedent is pretty clear on what happens when you strip a minority group of their rights without a rational reason to take them away.

  9. Justin says

    I found an interesting typo in the story. The first time you mentions gary’s name it is spelt ‘Gay’. Anyone else find this a bit lol’ifying

  10. Bob says

    DIRTY POOL — on the wording of the referendum. It needs to state what it really aims for.
    The link to his Facebook given allows everyone to send him a message, which I did, but not to write on his wall

    TELL HIM HOW MUCH LOVE HIM — but be civil, so he cant use quotes against us, please.

  11. Rich says

    Another politician comparing apples to oranges in order to support his bigotry. IF research proves that children are better in stable homes than in broken ones, that has nothing to do with marriage equality. The whole point of marriage equality is to recognize and provide a legal forum for stable relationships! His argument actually supports OUR point, and not Hate Bigotry 437. Let’s see if the sheep see that.

  12. Merlyn says

    This is the same sneaky stuff that the haters in CA pulled: word the question so that those who WANTED marriage equality thought a “yes” vote reflected their desire for legal same-sex marriage.

    This shows how sneaky and dishonest the whole anti-quality movement is. If they cannot win honestly, they will “win” by cheating and lies.