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NH Republican leaders may postpone marriage vote

Marriage equality

By Adam Bink

In an interesting twist, NOM efforts to scare the Republican legislative leadership in New Hampshire may have backfired:

New Hampshire’s House Republican leader said Friday he will ask that the fight to repeal gay marriage be postponed until 2012.

Rep. D.J. Bettencourt told The Associated Press he will ask the committee responsible for the repeal bill to retain it until next year.

Bettencourt said the National Organization for Marriage sent a direct mailer to his district in Salem saying he doesn’t support traditional family values. He said the mailer was the result of his announcement last week that the House Republican agenda did not include repealing gay marriage.

Bettencourt said the incident shows how controversial the issue is and reinforces his belief the House should focus on fiscal issues this year.

In a letter to House Speaker William O’Brien, Bettencourt said the organization and its supporters in New Hampshire know the repeal bill will be acted upon because legislative rules require floor votes on bills.

“This assault on our agenda has the potential to take important focus and energy away from our focus on the budget,’’ Bettencourt wrote O’Brien. “Therefore, it is my belief that the same sex marriage repeal must be retained in the Judiciary Committee this year so that our full and undivided attention is focused on New Hampshire’s outstanding financial issues.’’

Interesting bit of drama there. Overall, a positive bit of news.

Response from our friends at NH Freedom to Marry:

Concord, NH — The Associated Press’ Norma Love is reporting the National Organization for Marriage “sent a direct mailer to his district in Salem saying he doesn’t support traditional family values. He said the mailer was the result of his announcement last week that the House Republican agenda did not include repealing gay marriage. The executive director of New Hampshire Freedom to Marry, Mo Baxley, issued this statement.

“This is a clear effort by a small but well-funded extremist group to bully the GOP House Majority Leader. As any responsible leader would, Bettencourt is focused on creating jobs and economic recovery, the main reason why voters put Republicans in charge in New Hampshire. Lawmakers should be aware of the reams of evidence showing how out of the mainstream NOM and Cornerstone Action really are.”


Bettencourt said his office will make that position clear in testimony it provides at any hearing on the bill.

State Rep. David Bates, R-Windham, the bill’s prime sponsor, said he won’t fight leadership, but will tell the committee handling his bill he believes it would be better to put the issue to rest this year.

“It’s controversial, but this only drags out the controversy rather than bringing it to a conclusion sooner. I don’t know why we’d want to elongate it over 15 months,’’ said Bates.

As Bettencourt notes, there’s a vote required, but I firmly believe that the longer couples are married and visible and more people can see this is good for the state, the economy, and fairness, the better off we’ll be.


  • 1. Sarah  |  January 21, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Hm, didn't see that one coming. Thank you, NOM. (!?!?)

  • 2. Richard W. Fitch  |  January 21, 2011 at 10:58 am

    National Organization for Marriage “sent a direct mailer to his district in Salem saying he doesn't support traditional family values.
    The gNOMes want it to always seem like an "either/or" decision. Since when does committed partners raising children in a loving environment NOT reflect traditional family values????

  • 3. Sarah  |  January 21, 2011 at 11:05 am

    And, this kind of reminds me of W. Bush's remarks before we were (mis)lead, alone, into a long war. Something to the effect of "If you are not with us, you are against us." The fact that Bettencourt said he would not put is full attention on this side matter now, essentially caused NOM to shoot themselves in the foot. Actually, he would have been with you, it seems. Now what? :)

  • 4. Sagesse  |  January 21, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Maybe Rep Bettencourt's attitude could be transplanted to, say, Wyoming? North Carolina, perhaps?

  • 5. Chris in Lathrop  |  January 21, 2011 at 11:27 am

    And the war criminals are still at large, aided and abetted by the Congress who went in hook, line and sinker for W's bait. Dead coalition soldiers, dead Iraqi and Afghani civilians and soldiers, rape, torture, destruction, regional instability, increased terrorist activity, a huge defense budget down the toilet for 9+ years, a highly questionable detention facility in Cuba, the deliberately misnamed PATRIOT Act, and more, but at least Halliburton got their development rights and Blackwater got to go have a little taxpayer-funded fun, right?

    Sorry, the W admin reminds me of NOM on steroids, toting guns and traveling the world for kicks.

  • 6. Rhie  |  January 21, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Good news?

  • 7. JonT  |  January 21, 2011 at 11:53 am

    I think so. Guess NOM got a little too pushy. Of course, the longer marriage equality exists there, the harder it will be to repeal.

    I hope so anyway.

  • 8. Sagesse  |  January 21, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Wishing these folks all the luck they had in NH :).

    A first look at Maryland's 'protect marriage' team: Gays 'hate the Lord', 'defy God'

  • 9. Straight For Equalit  |  January 21, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    "Of course, the longer marriage equality exists there, the harder it will be to repeal."

    I think that is true or, like you, I certainly hope so anyway.

  • 10. Joel  |  January 21, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    And what will New Hampshire do, when thousands of couples are already married? It has already been established that legal and valid marriage contracts cannot be voided by the government, in California. Even if those republicants manage to pass a repeal, there will be thousands of couples already married.

  • 11. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 21, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Could this be the start of a string of NOM actions backfiring on them because of their bullying tactics? I hope so!

  • 12. Sagesse  |  January 21, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    One step at a time.

    In another nod to gays, feds tackling housing bias

  • 13. Michael  |  January 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    And if you believe this bill will not be voted on this year, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you. This is all anti-gay disinformation so the pro-equality side is caught off guard at the last moment. NOM did not deliberatey disobey Christ's rules to help the poor and needy by spending all that money instead on promoting the immoral anti-gay agenda in NH. They expect, demand and will get pay back THIS year. We need to PROTECT marriage in NH!

  • 14. Ann S.  |  January 21, 2011 at 2:51 pm

  • 15. Kathleen  |  January 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm

  • 16. Ray in MA  |  January 21, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    And then there is this:

    "Largest NH paper won't print gay marriage notices"

    And then you have RI (not far away) … no same sex marriage there, but the largest newspaper DOES print Same Sex marriage notices!!!!!


    The following 508 mainstream newspapers offer announcements for same-sex couples.

  • 17. Tweets that mention NH Re&hellip  |  January 21, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by James S., Testimony. Testimony said: NH Republican leaders may postpone marriage vote: […]

  • 18. icapricorn  |  January 22, 2011 at 12:03 am

    The start of NOM's backfires? That happen last year in Judge Walker's courtroom when the anti-gay forces could produce no credible reasons or experts to support their agenda of discrimination. You'll notice no one called "marriage expert" Maggie Gallagher to enlighten the state of California with her weighty profundities. Also all the fuss the Prop-8-ters kicked up about being filmed or having the names of their supporters published. NOM is an amateur organization that can not stand much sunlight. The more they come to the national fore, the more they align themselves with irrational Phelps Family values and blunt hatred. They are their own worse enemies.

  • 19. BK  |  January 22, 2011 at 12:24 am

    Postponing it? Good. All the more time to convince the populace that marriage equality doesn't make the sky fall.

  • 20. Straight For Equalit  |  January 22, 2011 at 12:27 am

    No big surprise that the Union Leader of Manchester won't print same-sex marriage announcements. It is a right-wing newspaper. If the Nashua Telegraph also refuses, that would surprise me. (I don't know the Nashua Telegraph's policy.)

    In an article at… Greg Gould, whose announcement of his upcoming marriage to Aurelio Tine was refused by the Union Leader, made a good point. “When you publish a wedding announcement, it’s not as if the newspaper sanctions it – it’s just news. If they didn’t want to report on all the things they didn’t like, then they wouldn’t report on murder, and war and government.”

  • 21. Ray in MA  |  January 22, 2011 at 12:40 am

    The population of New Hampshire is approximately 1,300,000.

    I was curious to find out how many SS Marriages in NH.

    I gave up Googling…(I usually always find what I want, but not this time!)

    My guess is that it's only a few thousand.

    Much ado for such a few!

  • 22. Ronnie  |  January 22, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Pooooor NOM…..(breaks out violin)…..<3…Ronnie

  • 23. Sagesse  |  January 22, 2011 at 12:53 am

    Kerry Eleveld in the Washington Post

    Next up for Obama: Marriage equality for gay Americans

  • 24. Ray in MA  |  January 22, 2011 at 12:54 am

    BTW, the population of Massachusetts is approximately 6,500,000 and I think Same Sex Marriages are under 20,000.

  • 25. Ray in MA  |  January 22, 2011 at 12:59 am

    Based on that mathematical comp (.003 of population):

    3900 same sex marriage couples in NH.

  • 26. Sagesse  |  January 22, 2011 at 1:00 am

    I've seen different numbers, from 950 couples, to 1,000 to 1,500. Still, from a population of 1.3 million, how many families do you have to disrupt before it's wrong? That number will grow over the next year, and as time passes, overturning it will seem more ridiculous, and more unfair. Need a better metaphor than skies not falling, but really….

  • 27. Ray in MA  |  January 22, 2011 at 1:01 am

  • 28. Sagesse  |  January 22, 2011 at 1:05 am

    I don't have the figures at hand, but if I recall there were 37,000 domestic partnerships in CA over the period from 1999 to 2008; there were 18,000 marriages in the five months that marriage was legal. Shows how important 'marriage' is.

  • 29. Ray in MA  |  January 22, 2011 at 1:27 am

    And my marriage in MA is just as important as one of the 3900 in NH.

    And just as important to all the kids. (tha bumps the numbers up, too!)

  • 30. John B.  |  January 22, 2011 at 1:38 am

    It's nice to see NOM's strong-arm tactics backfiring on them. When NOM put out some rather nasty fliers in a local (Washington, DC) primary race, it seems to have had a similar effect as it turned off a lot of voters and NOM and their candidate were widely criticized. Despite dire warnings of a voter backlash after the DC Council voted 11-2 for same-sex marriage, and despite NOM's candidate being endorsed by the Washington Post(!), he was trounced in the primary and the incumbent councilmember who had voted for same-sex marriage was re-elected by a large margin. (In fact not a single councilmember who had voted for the same-sex marriage bill was voted off the council.)

    Of course trying to point any of this out on NOM's blog is useless; although they've posted a few of my comments, they have refused to post any that point out that they were unable to influence our elections in any way, how badly they've lost at every turn in Washington, DC, or that DC voters don't really seem very concerned about same-sex marriage. That apparently doesn't fit their narrative that they are riding to the rescue of DC voters, who have had same-sex marriage forced on us (they actually talk about "restoring marriage" in DC as if we forcibly divorced all those heterosexual married couples) by that nasty out-of-touch city council who for some mysterious reason we keep re-electing.

  • 31. Chris in Lathrop  |  January 22, 2011 at 1:46 am

    Where'd you find one small enough??? 😉

  • 32. Ronnie  |  January 22, 2011 at 2:01 am

    I borrowed it from Terence….Tinker Bell's GBF….. ; ) …Ronnie

  • 33. LCH  |  January 22, 2011 at 2:20 am

    Hehe..NOM a legend in its own mind.

  • 34. Ronnie  |  January 22, 2011 at 2:26 am

    Video/interview compilation with Jason Mraz, Jane Lynch & Laura Embry, Marisa Tomei, Adam Lambert, Yeardley Smith (voice of Lisa Simpson), Bruce Vilanch (comedian), Rob Reiner, Attorney Ted Olsen and Plaintiffs Kris Perry & Sandy Stier, Paul Katami & Jeff Zarrillo……at the AFER anti-Prop 8 benefit that was held in Beverly Hills last Wednesday night……<3….Ronnie:

  • 35. John B.  |  January 22, 2011 at 2:28 am

    BTW here's the flier:

    And a Washington Post article about it:

    NOM really, really doesn't want anybody to know what really happened in Washington, DC because they failed so spectacularly here. Let's hope our success spills over into Maryland, which NOM is panicked will be the next state to legislate same-sex marriage with the majority support of state residents.

  • 36. Ronnie  |  January 22, 2011 at 2:40 am

    Speaking of Jason Mraz…..


    "The wedding would be nice for our family, our friends, our community — our moms especially — and so it puts us in the fight," he continued. "We can't get married until [gay] marriage is legal and equal…I think giving people the right to marry will be a huge movement in civil rights." ~ Jason Mraz

    (me) Like I said in reference to our Straight Allies, Actress Jodie Sweetin & fiancee Morty Coyle making the same decision to show their support for Equality…I would not ask for our allies to make such a symbolic gesture…but that is your choice & all I can do is respect that & thank you, Jason Mraz & Tristian Prettyman for your support….<3…Ronnie

  • 37. RebeccaRGB  |  January 22, 2011 at 2:47 am

  • 38. Kathleen  |  January 22, 2011 at 2:56 am

    Cool. I'll have to figure out how to make the cube root sign on my keyboard. :)

  • 39. Sagesse  |  January 22, 2011 at 3:16 am

    Whenever NOM has anything that can be vaguely categorized as a win, they trumpet it endlessly. When they lose, they go silent, like it never happened.

  • 40. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 22, 2011 at 3:20 am

    OMG! Ray, I scrolled down through the list in the link you provided, and my local paper is one of the 508! I could not believe it! The Fayetteville (NC) Observer! I am going to send them an email and see how much the announcement will cost!

  • 41. Peterplumber  |  January 22, 2011 at 3:24 am

    See how the twist the truth? It borders on an out & out LIE. But the sheeple buy into it.
    I hope this time it bites them in the butt.

  • 42. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 22, 2011 at 3:59 am

    Important enough to drive from NC to CT to make sure we have it, and to also attend any workshops that we become aware of so that we can get all the legal paperwork we need for CYA in those states that still want to withhold it from us.

  • 43. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 22, 2011 at 4:02 am

    You mean Terence has a violin even smaller that Concert Ken's violin? Ask Terence for the address of his supplier. I need to buy a few of those!

  • 44. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 22, 2011 at 4:14 am

    Thank you John. I hope that when we get a chance to go to DC, that we can meet some time. Or if you and your husband come to the Fayetteville/Ft. Bragg area of NC, look us up. If you like Mexican, we can go to Mi Casita. Or for seafood, it would be Hudson Bay. Their flounder is to die for!

  • 45. Peterplumber  |  January 22, 2011 at 4:43 am

    If you would like to send an email to Rep. D.J. Bettencourt in support of him trying to hold off repeal until next year, this is his personal email address.
    Be nice to him. He IS a conservative, but if NOM has upset him, maybe this is our chance to get him on OUR side.

  • 46. Kathleen  |  January 22, 2011 at 5:22 am

    Ryan Kendall reflects on testifying in the trial last year. A moving piece:

    You can download and read the transcript of his testimony here:

  • 47. Sagesse  |  January 22, 2011 at 5:53 am

    "With leading conservatives organizations not participating this year, Sen. DeMint will not be attending. He hopes to attend a unified CPAC next year,"

    Unified in its exclusion of LGBT Republicans? So adult.

    DeMint joins CPAC boycott – Ben Smith

  • 48. Kathleen  |  January 22, 2011 at 6:08 am

    And all this over GOProud! Did you catch Evan Hurst's piece on their recent board appointment? It's amusing.

  • 49. Ronnie  |  January 22, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Yup…It is very tiny…but the sound is monumental….. The directions are simple…"The second star to the right shines in the night for you"….you follow that straight on till morning….ask for Tiger Lilly…her methods may be archaic but her one-of-a-kind craftsmanship is venerable & breathtaking….. ; ) …Ronnie

  • 50. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 22, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Thanks, Ronnie!

  • 51. Ray in MA  |  January 22, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Cooool! Ask for a full page! and in color!

  • 52. Straight Ally #3008  |  January 22, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    See the social conservatives hate.
    Hate, social conservatives, hate!

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