Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My day in New Hampshire

It was a good old gay time today at the University of New Hampshire in Durham as students, faculty, staff and even some alumni ate pancakes and received a healthy dose of inspiration and activism.

UNH's annual Pancake Breakfast pays tribute to a group of gay students who placed a $2,000 bid in a 1974 auction to have breakfast with then-Gov. Meldrim Thomson, Jr. Thomson once threatened to block UNH's funding after members of the Gay Students Organization held a dance and performed a play on the Durham campus, but he would almost certainly not recognize the Granite State and its increasingly progressive reputation today.

Hundreds of people gathered in Concord today to attend the state Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings on a bill that would extend marriage to same-sex couples. Openly gay Bishop V. Gene Robinson was among those who testified in support of the proposed legislation.

The House of Representatives narrowly passed a bill late last month that would add gender identity and expression to the state's non-discrimination statutes. And lawmakers have begun to debate the possible repeal of the death penalty. Times have certainly changed in my native New Hampshire!

On a much different note, the weather has been simply gorgeous since I arrived yesterday afternoon. And I spent a couple of hours along the Seacoast this afternoon. I drove from Portsmouth to Hampton Beach along the oceanfront Route 1A. The drive is roughly 20 miles and passes along rocky coves, tide pools and sandy beaches with sweeping vistas of the Isles of Shoals and even parts of Cape Ann in Massachusetts. Here are a handful of pictures...



A cemetery in New Castle



Along Route 1A near Odiorne Point in Rye



Wallis Sands in Rye



Wallis Sands jetty



Hampton Beach