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Resurfaced video of Kelly Ayotte opposing same sex marriage reignities concerns

Resurfaced video of Kelly Ayotte opposing same sex marriage reignities concerns

Kelly Ayotte’s anti-LGBTQ stance resurfaces as video shakes New Hampshire political scene during Pride Month. (Colin Booth/Granite Post)

By Colin Booth

June 18, 2024

A recently resurfaced video from 2010 has reignited conversations around leading Republican gubernatorial candidate Kelly Ayotte’s consistent opposition to same-sex marriage and LGBTQ+ rights throughout her political career.

Released by the political advocacy group American Bridge during Pride Month, the video captures Ayotte during a U.S. Senate debate explicitly rejecting the legalization of same-sex marriage in New Hampshire.

The Ayotte campaign did not respond to the release of the video, which has received more than 60,000 views on social media since resurfacing, and has not issued a statement updating her position on same-sex marriage.

“I absolutely support and believe in marriage as between a man and a woman, and I do think it’s unfortunate our state has made a different decision,” Ayotte is heard saying in the video, which was taken at a AFP/Cornerstone Action U.S. Senate Debate in June of 2010.

“And I know many of you are out there working at the state level, running for state office, I commend your efforts to repeal that law here in the state of New Hampshire, and I think that’s very important,” Ayotte continued, thanking members of the conservative audience for their efforts to overturn the law legalizing marriage in the state.

This position was not an isolated instance, as Ayotte also opposed same-sex couples being able to adopt children. During a 2010 C-SPAN debate, Ayotte said “traditional families are what’s appropriate” when asked her views on adoption rights for same-sex couples.

“So that would be no?” asked the anchor, seeking to clarify Ayotte’s position.

“That’s right,” Ayotte said.

Ayotte’s legislative record also included opposition to efforts aimed at extending protections for same-sex couples. For instance, Ayotte voted for amendments that would have broadened exemptions under the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), allowing more organizations to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity under the guise of religious freedom.

RELATED: NH State Senate candidate Victoria Sullivan has long history of anti-LGBTQ views, harassment

She held her position on same-sex marriage through 2013, when many U.S. political leaders shifted their positions to support marriage equality nationwide — including Joe Biden and Barack Obama, who began supporting same-sex marriage in early 2012. Ayotte reiterated her opposition almost a full year later.

“I respect those who have changed their minds, but I believe in traditional marriage,” Ayotte said in an interview with WMUR in 2013.

She doubled down on her personal opposition to same sex marriage in 2015, saying in an interview “I believe my personal beliefs are in traditional marriage.”

New Hampshire legalized same-sex marriage on January 1, 2010. The state was among the early adopters of marriage equality legislation in the United States, and has long been among states with the strongest public support for LGBTQ+ protections.

While in the Senate, Ayotte remained the only member of the state’s federal delegation opposing same-sex marriage. 

Ayotte’s legislative actions also included opposition to efforts aimed at extending protections. For instance, Ayotte voted for amendments that would have broadened exemptions under the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), allowing more organizations to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity under the guise of religious freedom.

The New Hampshire Republican party is still officially opposed to same-sex marriage, renewing a pledge in the NH GOP platform this year to “Recognize marriage as the legal and sacred union between one man and one woman” while NH House Speaker Sherman Packard proclaimed May 2024 to be “Natural Family Month,” a designation coined and promoted by anti-LGBTQ+ groups.

Author

  • Colin Booth

    Based in Epsom, Colin Booth is Granite Post's political correspondent. A Granite State native and veteran political professional with a deep background in journalism, he's worked on campaigns and programs in battleground states across the country, ranging from New Hampshire, Texas, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.

CATEGORIES: LGBTQ
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