New Hampshire governor delays confirmation of antigay appointee

BY admin

September 18 2003 11:00 PM ET

New Hampshire governor Craig Benson has put off a confirmation vote for an antigay Mount Vernon woman he nominated to the state's Commission on the Status of Women, while a majority of the state executive council that would have to approve her opposes her selection. Benson said Wednesday he didn't call for a confirmation vote for former legislator Karen Testerman because the council wanted all five members to be present; councilor Ruth Griffin of Portsmouth was not there. If a vote does come, three of the five councilors have said they will not support Testerman because of her outspoken, conservative views. The commission traditionally has kept a low profile on hot-button social issues.

Benson said he still intends to bring Testerman's name forward despite the opposition. Testerman drew sharp criticism for her comments on a New Hampshire Public Radio talk program, comparing gay men and lesbians with "shoplifters and drug addicts." She also played a major role in helping the governor build support among legislators for the new law that requires minor girls to notify at least one
parent or guardian before getting an abortion. In an interview Tuesday, Testerman defended her criticism of the gay community. "We all have behaviors that may have an inclination to harm society, and we try to keep them under control," she told The [Nashua, N.H.] Telegraph. "When we have restrictions on those behaviors, then there is less activity. Homosexuality is a method by which there is some threat to society because of the disease it promotes. We cut men's life short because they cause AIDS and become more susceptible to pneumonia. I would raise the concern that homosexuality is not good in that it is a threat to the overall health of the society as a whole."

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