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Antigay Mailing Goes Out Under N.H. State Seal

Antigay Mailing Goes Out Under N.H. State Seal


Some LGBT activists in New Hampshire are upset about a legislator's use of official letterhead and the state seal on a mailing that seeks to drum up support for rescinding marriage equality in the state.

Rep. David Bates (pictured), a Republican, recently sent out the letter, which reads in part, "Very soon, the New Hampshire Legislature will vote on legislation I filed last year to restore traditional marriage in our state. If you believe that our marriage law should define marriage the way we've always known it -- the union of a man and woman, then please contact your representatives to support House Bill 437."

Bates is using his own money for the mailing, and officials with the New Hampshire secretary of state's office say it's OK for any legislator to use the seal, but some supporters of marriage equality are objecting, the Concord Monitor reports.

"This is showing up in people's mailboxes trying to make it appear that it's official state business," Tyler Deaton, a lobbyist with the pro-equality group Standing Up for New Hampshire Families, told the paper. "That's not news. This is lobbying. You can't blur the lines that way."

The legislature passed a law establishing marriage rights for same-sex couples in 2009. Gov. John Lynch, who signed that bill into law, has promised to veto any repeal attempt.

Meanwhile, supporters of Bates's repeal bill rallied at the statehouse in Concord Tuesday. "Other arrangements [besides heterosexual marriage] are unnatural and incapable of sustaining the human species," he told a crowd of about 200, the Associated Press reports. No date has been set for consideration of his bill.

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