GUEST OP-ED: Bergeron double-talking on same-sex marriage

Juliana Bergeron has been less than forthright about her views concerning same-sex marriage. Yes, she is for traditional marriage. But what she won’t go on record for, is that she doesn’t have any objection whatsoever to same-sex marriage. And while she allowed people to present the “Let NH Vote” effort at her county meetings, she was not a personal advocate of the effort.

She often refers to herself as a “Big Tent” Republican. She likes to quote Reagan on this. But what Reagan meant was that he had firmly held beliefs (which he often articulated), and he left the door open for other people to come on in and join him on that ground. What Juliana means by “Big Tent” is that we shouldn’t have any strong beliefs that would push anyone away. Our tent should be very big and non-descript. Therefore anyone who actually does have clearly defined beliefs is seen as “divisive” and is marginalized.

Simply put, Juliana believes that moderates have a better chance of winning elections then conservatives do.

Consequently, she has surrounded herself with moderates on the county level and has positioned Bill Hutwelker (an open social libertarian and advocate of same sex marriage) to be her successor for the Cheshire County Chair seat. He has been successfully appointed to that position.

Juliana stated to a room full of Swanzey people last year that the traditional marriage views in the party platform narrowly passed the last voting round by statewide party members. She implied that she personally did not vote to uphold the traditional marriage views, and she stated that we as Republicans could not hold candidates to the party platform on this regard because of its narrow passage. It was her strong opinion that candidates with differing social views than the party platform should be promoted without drawing attention to their differing position, and that these candidates should be protected to keep the voter uninformed of the candidates’ true position.

And this is clearly demonstrated in the fact that we now have John Byrnes as our Republican State Representative from Swanzey. John Byrnes (someone strongly supported by Juliana) was quoted in both the Nashua Telegraph and copied in the Keene Sentinel as calling those with traditional marriage views as “extreme, non-tolerant” people. The question is: How many Swanzey Republican voters knew this was John’s opinion of them when they voted for him last fall? Is it not disingenuous to the voter who looks up the party platform online, reads what is clearly stated there, and then votes for the candidate that they assume also holds that same view?

Similarly, if someone is going to vote for Juliana Bergeron as the new State Chair, they should have the clear facts in front of them and make an informed decision.

Patrice Nesbitt
Swanzey, NH

Author: Patrice Nesbitt

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