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NH GOP Rep. Dan McGuire to Base His Vote to Repeal Marriage Equality on Dictionary's Definition of Marriage

As I mentioned earlier, today the New Hampshire House is scheduled to vote on the disgusting HB 437, which would repeal the state's marriage equality law, replace it with civil unions, and introduce a non-binding ballot measure asking people to vote on whether they approve of the new civil union law.

And here's some of the logic we're up against.

A Towleroad reader writes:

NHI wanted to pass along an email exchange I had with Representative Dan McGuire (pictured). I sent identical emails to my four representatives (all happen to be Republicans), and I have only received the one response. In my initial email, I had no idea where any of them stand on LGBT issues. For this reason I wasn't interested in wasting my time trying to appeal to them; I just wanted to express my opposition to the bill. Rep. McGuire will apparently not be voting as I had hoped. This wasn't all that shocking to me, but as I read the email I became more and more perplexed and disgusted with his logic. It is worth mentioning that his wife is also a Representative. I'm just hoping she doesn't have access to his grandfather's dictionary...

McguireMy initial email:

Representative McGuire,

I am not familiar with your record or your positions on gay rights, but, as your constituent, I ask that you vote against HB 437. I am not here to make moral, philosophical, or constitutional arguments about why repealing the state’s marriage equality law would be unjust and cruel. I am not here to try to convince you that my relationship is worthy of the same recognition as anyone else’s. I don’t need to convince you that I’m a good citizen, a decent person or that my life is not destined to be a sad story because I am gay. It’s dehumanizing. I don’t need to be accepted, but I must be respected and protected under the law. Gay marriage has had no negative effect in New Hampshire, except in the minds of those who don’t understand what it means to the LGBT. As I said, I don’t know your beliefs or your familiarity with LGBT people, and if you don’t already know in your heart that HB 437 is a disgrace there is nothing I can say here to change your mind. However, it is my job as your constituent to let you know my position, and leave it to you to do the right thing.

Thank you,

Lance [name removed]

McGuire's response, AFTER THE JUMP...

His response:

Thank you, Lance, I appreciate this email.  Unfortunately I am not going to be voting your way, but I would like to tell you my reasons.

First of all, I do have three close female relatives, all living in California, including my mother and sister, who have been in long term lesbian relationships.  My sister even has been married and divorced under California law.  She isn't too happy about it now because she had been with her partner for a dozen years or more, then her partner lost her job, so my sister married her in order to get medical benefits for her partner from my sister's employer.  Fast forward five years, and my sister got a bit tired of being the only breadwinner, and they got divorced.  Unfortunately in California you pay alimony for the same length of time as you were married, so my sister now owes her former partner five years worth of alimony.  And since the feds don't recognize same sex marriage, that alimony is not tax deductible as it would normally be.

Because HB 437 restores civil unions, all it is about is the word, "marriage".  It is not the legislature's place to determine the meaning of simple words, that is up to the culture.  When I went to college in 1975, my grandparents gave me a brand new American Heritage dictionary.  It says that marriage is the legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife.  That certainly wasn't controversial then, so the question is whether our culture has changed enough in the intervening years that we have a new usage.  I don't think so.  Just a few years ago, we had a ballot question on this subject here in Epsom, and the vote was 2 to 1 or better to retain that definition.

I consider this debate to be an example of political correctness.  Political correctness tries to win arguments and control thought by twisting the meaning of words.  If "marriage" can be redefined to be two guys, two girls or one of each, then all those relationships are automatically a family, and it is the end of any discussion of what is appropriate in all circumstances.  Should two guys adopt children?  Be foster parents?  Be able to cage health insurance from the employer of one for the other?  Should the book "Heather has two mommies" be used in kindergarten?  What interest does the state have in what two guys do?  Once the word is redefined, then all those kinds of questions can no longer even be discussed because the language itself excludes certain thoughts.

It's getting late, and I hope I've explained my reasoning well enough.  I'm sorry it is not more to your liking, but please feel free to write again on this or another subject.  One possible bright spot is that if a version of the bill passes, it is likely to be the one that includes a ballot referendum, so we will get a very good idea of what the voters think on this issue.

Yours,
Dan McGuire

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Comments

  1. I can live with that:

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/marriage

    See 1.a.2

    Posted by: Steve | Mar 21, 2012 9:59:46 AM


  2. I wonder how this representative's 1975 dictionary defines the words: internet, cell phone, 9/11, MTV or a host of other things that did not exist in 1975. If he took a look at a dictionary from 1850 he would also find a different definition of slavery. What a lame excuse for representative.

    Posted by: David | Mar 21, 2012 10:11:58 AM


  3. uhhh, hasn't the definition of the word "gay" changed in the last 100 years?

    Posted by: EO | Mar 21, 2012 10:17:01 AM


  4. His mother and sister are lesbians? Or did I misread that?

    Posted by: Andrew | Mar 21, 2012 10:22:36 AM


  5. Wow, if his sister and mother are both lesbians, he basically is saying to his closest relatives: Screw you, your relationships are not worthy of being called marriage. What an asshat. Thanksgiving must be fun in that family.

    Posted by: KP | Mar 21, 2012 10:34:41 AM


  6. so his sister had a bad experience with same-sex marriage and divorce. big deal. what do her life experiences have to do with other people's lives? if that's how the argument is going to go, then opposite-sex marriage and divorce should be banned as well because there are a lot of straight people out there in unhappy, effed up marriages and because there are a lot of divorced straight people who got the short end of the stick.

    Posted by: raphinou | Mar 21, 2012 10:39:59 AM


  7. alimony tax deductible??

    Posted by: Mark | Mar 21, 2012 10:51:53 AM


  8. Language and culture changes, dumb-ass. Just who and what are you representing?

    Posted by: J. Alan | Mar 21, 2012 10:52:05 AM


  9. My sister has been married 4 times, and divorced 3 times. Custody battles have cost tens of thousands. No protection from those costs covered by federal law. So, opposite sex couples should not be allowed to marry. One marriage was to a man who molested my niece. So, opposite sex couples should not be allowed to re-marry because it exposes them to abuse. So, if I were a representative, I should not support any laws allowing divorce and remarriage.

    Straight couples become foster parents. Sometimes, very bad foster parents. Would it be politically correct to assume that no other individuals or couples could do a better job? Is it merely political correctness that suggests that all who contribute to the state expect the state to support and protect equal access to offered benefits?

    Posted by: TJ | Mar 21, 2012 11:05:22 AM


  10. I thought our representative in NC were asswipes. I'm sorry to see that we are not alone.

    Posted by: rayrayj | Mar 21, 2012 11:17:37 AM


  11. I'm beginning to think that legislatures are work programs for the mentally challenged.

    Posted by: Scott C. | Mar 21, 2012 11:39:55 AM


  12. Even down to citing a definition from a dictionary printed in the last century.

    Hopefully, not only will this anti-gay pogrom be stopped, but the legislators ignoring the issues they promised to address in order to launch their jihad will be voted out.

    Posted by: What an idiot | Mar 21, 2012 12:00:24 PM


  13. The solution for the sister would be to get rid of DOMA and make marriage equality recognized on a federal level.

    And to answer Mr. McGuire's other questions, yes, two guys should be able to adopt and be foster parents. And "Heather Has Two Mommies" should certainly be used in kindergarten.

    Posted by: RJ | Mar 21, 2012 12:27:08 PM


  14. Just send the guy a new dictionary. This is how the current American Heritage Dictionary defines "marriage".


    mar·riage (mărĭj)

    1.
    a. The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife, and in some jurisdictions, between two persons of the same sex, usually entailing legal obligations of each person to the other.
    b. A similar union of more than two people; a polygamous marriage.
    c. A union between persons that is recognized by custom or religious tradition as a marriage.

    Posted by: gr8guyca | Mar 21, 2012 1:03:38 PM


  15. quote: "It is not the legislature's place to determine the meaning of simple words"

    Agreed, you meddlesome douchecanoe. Butt out and let us decide for ourselves.

    Posted by: Jexer | Mar 21, 2012 1:04:56 PM


  16. Someone should interview his mother and sister to confirm what an asswipe he is.

    Posted by: Thunderboltfan | Mar 21, 2012 1:12:48 PM


  17. He explains how marriage has protected a spouse and prevented his sister's ex from leaching off the public for health care and he sees no benefit to government in same-sex marriage.

    The guy is a bit dim...

    Posted by: BobN | Mar 21, 2012 1:14:55 PM


  18. "Cage health insurance"? Since he's the one with the dictionary, what does this mean? In my dictionary, I see two definitions for cage when the word is used as a verb. One, is to trap, the other is to score. Either way, this guy is an asshat, who seems to be suggesting that it's a questionable practice. If it's OK for a straight couple to get insurance from one of their employers, why is it suddenly nefarious for a gay couple to do the same...If two guys do it, we're somehow gaming the system. Using the rhetoric of the right, there should be no "special rights" for anyone...Either all couples should be able to get a family insurance through their workplace (if one is offered) OR no one should be able to do so.

    Posted by: Guy from DC | Mar 21, 2012 1:21:31 PM


  19. I would like to remind Dan McGuire that his job requires him to consult the constitution, not a dictionary. But if he wants to go the dictionary route, perhaps he should look up the meaning of the word "citizen" and tell me how the word applies in section 1 of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution:

    "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

    That has to be one of the plainest parts of the Constitution so why do so many people get it wrong? People who don't understand the Constitution at least on the most basic level have no business running for public office.

    Posted by: Gary Alton Russell | Mar 21, 2012 3:57:35 PM


  20. GARY A R - Powerfully stated. Excellent!

    Posted by: TJ | Mar 22, 2012 12:51:47 AM


  21. And, my dictionary shows his photo next to the word homophobe! Put that in your Funk & Wagnalls!

    Posted by: Bill Cooney | Mar 22, 2012 5:40:36 AM


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