“Every time we bring more people in from the margins into the heart and soul of democracy, we get stronger.” Governor Hassan
Forty-one years ago, Wayne April requested a meeting space in the MUB for the first gay student organization at UNH. He wanted a place for the group to meet and give voice to both issues and progress in the campus community. Governor Meldrin Thompson threatened to pull all university funding if the gays were granted access to funding for their proposed student organization. That was 1972. Fast forward: It's April 9, 2013, and nearly 300 people gather in the MUB Granite State Room, to hear NH State Governor Maggie Hassan as the keynote speaker at the Annual Pancake Breakfast. She traces NH's progress from not recognizing gay couples' rights to passing civil union in 2007 to equal marriage in 2009, which she said serves to strengthen families and the state's economy. She adds, "Inclusiveness is part of our history, starting with the immigrant populations, with women entering into the political process and with more accessibility for people with disabilities. Hassan told community members, "You should be proud of yourselves. You're part of the American story and the American mission. The strong resolve to succeed over 41 years has brought much progress. Like most battles in equality, it has taken a long time," Hassan said of the challenges met for civil rights for couples of all sexual orientations. "Equal inclusion is the key to a thriving nation. She concluded: "You have a lot of work to do, and we need you. Keep working."
The breakfast tradition continues to recognize community members for their outstanding efforts in fostering understanding and advancing opportunities for the GLBTQA+ community. Kidder Awardees were Barbara Jago, Professor of Communications at UNH-M, Tamsin Whitehead, staff and graduate student in Women's Studies, and Alexander Loughran Lamothe UNH senior. Pink Triangle Awards to honor leaders and heroes were presented to those who made outstanding contributions to efforts for equity and visibility for the GLBTQ+ community: Sara Dillingham, Professor Paul McNamara and Seacoast Outright were this years’ recipients.