February 18, 2011
By Adam Bink
This is Paul Ober, a hockey player at the University of New Hampshire:
Photo credit: Kevin Miniter
Paul came out as bisexual during yesterday’s hearing to a room of around 800 people. Now that is what we call Courage.
I’ve been reading the coverage around New Hampshire and national wires like the AP. He was mentioned in today’s Concord Monitor piece. Here’s his story:
Paul Ober, a University of New Hampshire club hockey player, came out to his teammates at the hearing, telling them, and the committee, that he is bisexual.
“It sucks to be gay because of the discrimination,” Ober said afterward. “It’s legally condone-able behavior to make fun of homosexuals, bisexuals, anyone with an alternative lifestyle.”
The sophomore English major said he hopes if same-sex marriage remains in place, people will “come around” and stop discriminating.
“The law was passed originally based on an act of love and kindness to a group of people,” Ober said. “To take that away is pointless and illogical.”
It literally just makes my heart stop. It’s stories like these that are changing the landscape in New Hampshire, and it’s stories like those that made yesterday a resounding success. We’ve seen it in Iowa with Zach, and with Phillip Spooner in Maine, and now with Paul.
I just checked on the numbers- we at Courage, in collaboration with our friends at Granite State Progress who submitted the testimony to the committee, ended up collecting a total of 64 written testimonies on our page (many of which I posted here yesterday) for those who couldn’t attend yesterday’s hearing, and drove more to attend in person, all wearing red. We outnumbered NOM by more than 15-1. Last month we ran five Camp Courage trainings across the state to get the word out about the attack on equality, to teach activists about “story of self” and to film a total of 26 video Testimonies for our new story-telling project later this month. We’ll be collecting more over the next few months.
We’re doing all this because we see the value of stories- in photos and in video. Stories help win these campaigns.
We’re raising some money today to fund our Camp Courage trainings and Testimony story collection in other states as other fights come down the pipe- on adoption, constitutional amendments on marriage, discrimination, Prop 8, you name it. Please make a contribution if you can. We’re going to find the next Zach Wahls, the next Phillip Spooner, and then make sure the “movable middle” sees and hears their story. Already we’re working on video from yesterday’s hearing.
Please contribute to help double down on these efforts. We’ve shown how this- using stories to drive action- can work successfully in New Hampshire. We want to bring this model to other states, and we can’t do it without your help. Please chip in whatever you can so stories like Paul’s get out there.
And thanks for all you are doing and did in New Hampshire.