February 9, 2016 at 2:12 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Out-of-towners campaign for, against candidates in N.H.

Chris Christie, New Hampshire Primary, gay news, Washington Blade

From left; Emily Myers, Amy Myers and Jay Lassiter protest New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie outside a campaign event in Bedford, N.H., on Feb. 6, 2016. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

BEDFORD, N.H. — Jay Lassiter, a self-described “gay guy from New Jersey,” and two students from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts on Feb. 6 were standing on the edge of a snow-covered parking lot outside of a campaign rally for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the Manchester suburb of Bedford.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker were on stage with Christie as he spoke to hundreds of his supporters. Lassiter and the two Mount Holyoke College students who were outside were holding signs that described Christie as a “con man” and a “fraud.”

“I had to endure him vetoing my right to marry my partner,” Lassiter told the Washington Blade, referring to Christie’s veto of a bill that would have extended marriage rights to same-sex couples in New Jersey. “I wanted to come up and enjoy watching his campaign go up in flames firsthand.”

Emily Myers, one of the Mount Holyoke College students who is originally from New Mexico, nodded in agreement.

“His whole approach to politics is incredibly wrong and self-serving,” she told the Blade.

Lassiter and Myers are among those who are not from New Hampshire who have traveled to the state ahead of its first-in-the-nation primary.

The Human Rights Campaign, which has endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, opened an office on Elm Street in downtown Manchester.

National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce President Justin Nelson, Out and Equal CEO Selisse Berry and actress Meredith Baxter are among those who have come to New Hampshire in recent days to campaign in support of the former secretary of state. Gay New York Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney was also in Manchester, which is the state’s largest city, over the weekend to canvass on behalf of Clinton.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in recent days has campaigned on behalf of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in New Hampshire. Former first lady Barbara Bush on Feb. 4 pushed her walker through the snow as she arrived at a campaign event for her son in Derry.

Leslie Harkins of Jamestown, R.I., and Kathy Flanagan of Columbia, Md., were among the members of the “fabulous force” of Clinton supporters who canvassed on her behalf in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. Jeffrey Marburg-Goodman, a gay man who owns an apartment in Dupont Circle, on Tuesday was to have stood outside a polling place in Wolfeboro, a town on the eastern shore of Lake Winnipesaukee in which former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney owns a home.

“It’s really, really important for my little teeny, tiny voice to be heard,” Harkins told the Blade on Sunday as she and Flanagan watched the Super Bowl at the Tilton Inn in Tilton with other Clinton supporters.

Harkins earlier in the day spoke with 10 people.

She conceded to the Blade that people in New Hampshire are known for their “pretty curmudgeonly kind of attitudes.” Harkins, who is originally from Maine, said the people — including a 78-year-old woman who invited her into her home — with whom she spoke were “wonderful.”

“I feel really good about being here,” said Harkins.

Hillary Clinton, New Hampshire primary, gay news, Washington Blade, NGLCC, Out and Equal, Justin Nelson, Selisse Berry

National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce President Justin Nelson and Out and Equal CEO Selisse Berry talk at a Super Bowl party for Hillary Clinton supporters in Tilton, N.H., on Feb. 7, 2016. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Flanagan drove to New Hampshire from her home in Maryland in order to campaign in support of Clinton.

She told the Blade that she feels “very strongly about Hillary.” Flanagan was also quick to criticize the Republican presidential candidates over their stance on LGBT-specific issues and Planned Parenthood.

“The Republicans want to go backwards and have men controlling women’s bodies again,” she said.

Deroux Alexander, a gay man from Jamaica who now lives in New York, traveled to New Hampshire for the first time this past weekend to volunteer on behalf of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)’s campaign.

He and other supporters of the self-described Democratic Socialist canvassed in Concord.

“We were generally warmly received,” Alexander told the Blade on Monday during a telephone interview from New York. “People are very serious about their politics.”

Alexander said he took note of the plethora of campaign signs that had been placed on the sides of the interstate. He also told the Blade that there “was a lot” of snow on the ground while he was in New Hampshire.

“I can’t wait until Tuesday,” said Alexander. “My heart is still in New Hampshire.”

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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