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04/22/2010

Lynch never said he'd veto/repeal. But Brian Brown sure did

by Jeremy Hooper

Since new National Organization For Marriage president Brian Brown is clogging up our Inbox with daily emails about Gov. John Lynch and how he supposedly lied to New Hampshire voters about same-sex marriage (even though Lynch NEVER ONCE said he would veto a bill if it got to his desk with religious protections that he found adequate), we thought we'd take a sec and remind New Hampshire voters of something. Namely: The fact that Brian Brown is not only opposed to marriage equality, but is also someone who would, by his own admission, repeal civil unions if given the chance.

Consider this exchange that Brian had back when he was the Exec. Director of the Family Institute of Connecticut and was trying to keep the state's (now-legal) same-sex civil marriage system from becoming law:

Brian-BrownREP. LAWLOR: Thank you. I just want to ask you, Brian. Is it your position and that of your organization that we should repeal the civil union law that's on the books now?

BRIAN BROWN: Yeah, ideally we would because, again, you're creating a separate status for marriage and once we passed civil unions, it wasn't two years until we were at this point for same-sex marriage.

Do I think that that's conceivable? Are we going to the courts to try and force that on the state? No. If the people oppose this, then they'll rise up against it.

Again, the issue here is, are we taking the next step? We oppose, obviously and clearly from my testimony, we oppose taking this last, and I think it's not the final step, but it's close.

REP. LAWLOR: And I remember a couple years ago, you said pretty clearly when we debated civil unions, that civil unions were just gay marriage by another name. Do you still feel that way?

BRIAN BROWN: I do, but I think the name is quite important, and I talked about that a little earlier, that the name conveys a status and that status is very important and it's important that we keep that.
JUD Committee Hearing Transcript, 3/26/2007 [CT.gov]

Brian would surely never admit this in his new role. NOM has framed their entire mission around the word marriage, since they know that is more publicly palatable than going after people's rights. However, we remember Brian from back in the day. In fact, we covered this 2007 testimony closely, as well as the buildup and followup to it. We quite clearly remember Brian threatening the jobs of any Democrat or Republican who voted in favor of the C.U. system. The war was against basic rights, not just words to which certain religious/procreative/dual-tuxedo-fearing people supposedly hold ownership.

For some New Hampshirites, this might be positive thing. But for many others, it most certainly is not. And if Brian and his fellow out-of-staters feel that they should dedicate their time and a quarter of a million dollars to besmirching a governor with an "enviable" approval rating amid claims that he "lied," then we think actual New Hampshire voters have a right to know what support for NOM really means. Or, alternately, if Brian Brown has changed his opinion about civil unions, then we'd all certainly love to hear it.

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