POLITICS

GOP House Candidate Marilinda Garcia Plagiarized Parts Of Floor Speech On Same-Sex Marriage

Marilinda Garcia, a Republican U.S. House candidate from New Hampshire, plagiarized portions of a 2012 speech she gave against same-sex marriage, according to an analysis by the left-leaning group Granite State Progress.

Garcia, who was named a "rising star" by the Republican National Committee, delivered the speech as a state representative in an effort to repeal New Hampshire's marriage equality law. The language she used is nearly identical in some passages to a 2010 editorial by the National Review.

"Marriage exists to solve a problem," Garcia said. "That problem is a societal problem that rises from sex between men and women, but not from sex between partners of the same gender. That problem is what to do about its generativity."

The National Review editorial has a very similar paragraph:

Marriage exists, in other words, to solve a problem that arises from sex between men and women, but not from sex between partners of the same gender: what to do about its generativity.

Granite State Progress pointed out many other passages Garcia appears to have plagiarized. She said in her speech, "A man and a woman who unite biologically may or may not have children depending on factors beyond their control, but the point is that a same-sex couple cannot thus unite."

The National Review editorial uses the same words: "A man and a woman who unite biologically may or may not have children depending on factors beyond their control; a same-sex couple cannot thus unite."

Even longer passages from Garcia's speech mimic parts of the editorial. Here is Garcia:

The campaign for same-sex marriage, as evidenced by the immediate abandonment of civil unions, is primarily motivated by one specific benefit, and that is the symbolic statement by the government that committed same-sex relationships are equivalent to marriages. But with respect to the purposes of marriage, they're not equivalent. And so, this psychic benefit can not be granted without telling a lie about what marriage is, and why a society and legal system should recognize and support it.

Here is the National Review:

The campaign for same-sex marriage is primarily motivated by one specific benefit: the symbolic statement by the government that committed same-sex relationships are equivalent to marriages. But with respect to the purposes of marriages, they're not equivalent; and so this psychic benefit cannot be granted without telling a lie about what marriage is and why a society and legal system should recognize and support it.

Garcia changed the wording around a little bit in some passages and included a personal anecdote in her speech, but she did not cite the National Review.

Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress, said the plagiarism is evidence that Garcia simply parrots right-wing talking points, rather than thinking for herself.

"Marilinda Garcia is a Koch-funded and scripted candidate who sticks closely to the talking points provided by her big dollar donors. On the occasions she has had to speak in more detail about her own record and positions, she has struggled. Now we learn that she plagiarized major sections of a speech she gave on the House floor. We cannot be certain this was the only time Garcia has taken someone else's work and passed it off as her own," she said.

Garcia's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

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