Noon Saturday in Concord: Cornerstone Sponsors Religious Liberty Rally As Part of Nationwide Effort

CONCORD, N.H.—Just 17 days before Election Day, concerned New Hampshire citizens led by Cornerstone Action will voice public opposition to the Obama administration’s Health and Human Services Mandate on the State House lawn as part of a Cornerstone-sponsored religious liberty rally on Saturday, Oct. 20.

The federal HHS Mandate, championed by President Obama, forces all employers—including religious schools and hospitals—to provide free contraceptives, surgical sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs through their health plans, regardless of their religious or moral convictions.

The Cornerstone-sponsored Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally in Concord will begin at noon on Saturday, Oct. 20, on the N.H. State House lawn. New Hampshire advocates of religious liberty will join more than 100 other cities and towns from Maine to Hawaii that are participating in this national event. A complete list of rally sites and other details are available

“Thanks to the president and his Obamacare law, the government is now forcing business owners to violate their deepest held beliefs just to make a living,” said Shannon McGinley, Cornerstone’s acting executive director. “This isn’t about access to contraception or abortion pills; two medical treatments that are available to people who want to pay for them. This is about government inventing a right to force religious people to pay for that contraception or those abortion pills even if they morally or religiously object.

“This is about government declaring by fiat that the fake right it now recognizes supersedes the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Rights of Conscience clause in the N.H. Constitution,” McGinley added.

Guest Speakers will include:

  • Speaker of the N.H. House William O’Brien
    House Speaker Bill O’Brien has been a member of N.H. House of Representatives since 2004. He was elected speaker on Dec. 1, 2010. An attorney by trade, Speaker O’Brien earned a bachelors degree in history in 1974 and a law degree in 1977. He has served in the civic arena for many years as the chairman of three legislative subcommittees, a member of the majority party leadership, chairman of the N.H. Republican Party Platform Committee, vice-chairman of the Granite State Taxpayers, and co-chairman of the House Republican Alliance. He is a past member of the Mont Vernon school board and the Mont Vernon Police Advisory Commission. Speaker O’Brien has been married to his wife Roxanne for 37 years, and they have three grown children.
  • Red Sox Star Rico Petrocelli
    Rico Petrocelli has been known and loved here in New Hampshire for his 12-year career as a Boston Red Sox shortstop and third baseman (rumor has it, he was a Yankees’ fan as a kid… Shhh…). Petrocelli is a two-time All-Star shortstop and veteran of two World Series with the Red Sox. His work off the field is just as impressive. Rico has been a sports journalist and radio talk show host, and he has given numerous talks to Christian audiences about his conversion to Christianity and love for God. He now owns his own business, the Petrocelli Marketing Group based in Nashua, N.H. Rico and his wife Elsie of 40 years live in Nashua, and they have four grown sons. They feel passionately about protecting our God-given right to religious liberty.
  • Bedford, N.H. Business Owner Alan Goedecke 
    Launched in 1923 as Goedecke Painting, Goedecke Decorating Center is a well-known family business that has grown and expanded for 86 years through four generations of family members. Alan Goedecke is the current owner.
  • N.H. Professor and Principal Mark Gillis
    A husband and father of three, Mark Gillis taught at his N.H. alma mater, the College of St. Mary Magdalen, for 20 years as a professor. He then served as interim dean of faculty and academics at Holy Family Academy, a high school in Manchester, and has since been the principal of Sacred Heart School in Hampton.
  • Opera Instructor and N.H. State Rep. Candidate Jane Cormier
    Jane Cormier is running for state representative in Alton, where she has lived with her husband and two children for 15 years. She has traveled the world as an opera singer, and she also teaches music. In 2010 she founded a non-profit organization, Just Love to Sing!
  • Saint Mary Magdalen College Student Hannah Howard

The October 20 Stand Up Rally builds on the tremendous momentum created by two rallies held earlier this year in March and June, when more than 125,000 citizens of all faiths attending local rallies at 300 sites coast to coast. With the Supreme Court’s Obamacare ruling leaving this issue in voters’ hands and Election Day only weeks away, the nationwide October 20 Stand Up Rally is expected to draw larger crowds.

The Cornerstone-sponsored Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally in Concord will include community and religious leaders of several faiths, and all are welcome to attend. Here’s the specific details of Saturday’s event:

What: Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally.

When: Saturday, October 20, noon to 1 p.m.

Site: New Hampshire State House Lawn

Address:  25 Capitol Street, Concord, NH 03301 

Who: Hundreds of local citizens opposed to Obama’s HHS Mandate.

The date for the Stand Up Rally was chosen to keep this crucial issue in the public eye as voters decide which candidates best represent their values. Cornerstone urges voters to consider voting only for those candidates who have signed Cornerstone’s Families First Pledge, which includes as one of five tenets: “I pledge to vote to preserve the right of conscience for all citizens, including their freedom to practice the tenets of their faith.”

“Jobs and the economy are certainly the focus of most candidates for office this election, but something far more important is at stake,” McGinley said. “We must stop the federal government from forcing employers to choose between violating their deeply held religious convictions or going out of business. If we don’t do this, the founding American principle of religious freedom will no longer exist in America.”


About Cornerstone Action
Cornerstone-Action and Cornerstone Policy Research are non-partisan, non-profit organizations dedicated to preserving New Hampshire’s traditional values, limited government, and free markets through education, information and advocacy. Our vision is to create an environment in which strong families—the foundation of our society—can lead New Hampshire into a new era of prosperity and strength. For more information, please visit

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