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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

House should leave social issues alone

Letter to the Editor

This is an open letter to New Hampshire Rep. David Bates, R-Windham.

First, I’d like to thank you for your service to our state. I know the long hours a state representative has to put in. My father, James C. Cleveland, was an ardent Republican who started as a N.H. state senator before he served in the U.S. Congress for 18 years. I believe he served our state with integrity and fairness.

My father died in 1995, and he knew I was a gay man. I told him early on. He also knew my partner of 22 years, Robert Jensen. He welcomed Robert into our family. My father had two gay brothers, gay grand-daughters and many gay friends. I was taught by my father to be fair to everybody. My parents welcomed all people into our house in New London, from the Bushes (Sr. and Jr.) to every constituent in the state of New Hampshire. All were equal. ALL were equal.

I would like for you to please rethink your position on HB 437. Robert and I are getting married in the summer of 2013. One hundred fifty people will be coming to the Dartmouth Lake Sunapee Region to celebrate. These are people who will shop, dine, lodge, recreate and possibly relocate to the area. The potential business revenue is extraordinary, by my estimation, close to half a million dollars. From a business and economic standpoint, denying your state this kind of revenue is purely “un-republican” and downright wrong. Our marriage will not hurt anybody, will not destroy the institution of marriage and will not undermine the constitution of the United States. It will bring needed revenue to the state that we all dearly love.

So let’s leave social issues alone, and let’s get the economy moving again, one gay marriage at a time.

David P. Cleveland