Voice for Equality: Gov. John Lynch of NH

John Lynch is the current Governor of New Hampshire.  A businessman and Democratic Party politician, Lynch was elected the 80th Governor of New Hampshire on November 2, 2004, defeating Republican incumbent Craig Benson by a narrow margin. Lynch was the first challenger to defeat a one-term incumbent in the state in 78 years. He was sworn in on January 6, 2005.  Lynch was elected to a second two-year term by a 74-26 margin over Republican Jim Coburn. Lynch's 74 percent share of the vote was the largest margin of victory ever in a New Hampshire gubernatorial race. Lynch was elected to a third two-year term in 2008 by a 70-28 over Republican state senator Joe Kenney.  Governor Lynch won a historic fourth term on November 2, 2010. According to the Concord Monitor "When he begins his fourth two-year term in January, Lynch will become the state's longest-serving governor in nearly two centuries. John Taylor Gilman was the last governor to serve longer than six years, serving 14 one-year terms as governor between 1794 and 1816. (The state switched to two-year terms in 1877)" Learn more here.

In May of 2009, Gov. John Lynch released a statement regarding marriage equality legislation in New Hampshire. Showing an evolution in his thinking also demonstrated by President Clinton, President Obama and many other elected officials, he pledged to sign the marriage bill in New Hampshire if language was added to clarify the difference between civil and religious marriage.  Included in the governor's statement:

“My personal views on the subject of marriage have been shaped by my own experience, tradition and upbringing. But as Governor of New Hampshire, I recognize that I have a responsibility to consider this issue through a broader lens.

“In the past weeks and months, I have spoken with lawmakers, religious leaders and citizens. My office has received thousands of phone calls, letters and emails. I have studied our current marriage and civil union laws, the laws of other states, the bills recently passed by the legislature and our history and traditions.
“At its core, HB 436 simply changes the term ‘civil union’ to ‘civil marriage.’ Given the cultural, historical and religious significance of the word marriage, this is a meaningful change.

“I have heard, and I understand, the very real feelings of same-sex couples that a separate system is not an equal system. That a civil law that differentiates between their committed relationships and those of heterosexual couples undermines both their dignity and the legitimacy of their families."

Following the fall 2010 election, amid pressure from republicans who picked up majorities in both houses of the New Hampshire legislature, Governor Lynch remained firm in his commitment to fairness by promising to veto any attempts to nullify New Hampshire's freedom to marry law. 

Freedom to Marry salutes New Hampshire's Governor John Lynch as a Voice for Equality!

If Gov. Lynch's support inspires you, take action by signing the Freedom to Marry Pledge.