A New Hampshire state lawmaker is taking his turn in the spotlight for uttering a comment seen as insensitive, uninformed, or a combination of the two. Referring to a bill that would reduce the penalty in certain assault cases, Republican Mark Warden said this yesterday, reports the Concord Monitor:
- “Some people could make the argument that a lot of people like being in abusive relationships. It’s a love-hate relationship. It’s very, very common for people to stick around with somebody they love who also abuses him or her. ... Is the solution to those kind of dysfunctional relationships going to be more government, another law? I’d say no. People are always free to leave.”
A liberal advocacy group caught it on video, Talking Points Memo picked it up, and the story started making headlines beyond New Hampshire. Today, Warden apologized, notes a separate Monitor story. “It was never my intention to minimize the trauma of domestic abuse or in any way demean the victims," he said, adding that "how the state gets involved in people’s personal lives is a topic that requires thoughtful debate and should not be reduced to sound bites." As for the bill, Warden was one of only four on a 20-member panel to vote for it, meaning it stands little chance in the full state House.