March 21, 2012
By Scottie Thomaston
Marriage equality was retained in New Hampshire today:
Today, the Republican-controlled House in New Hampshire failed to pass one of seven bill attempts that would have killed same-sex civil marriage equality. The vote failed 133-202. Democratic Governor John Lynch, who signed the 2009 bill legalizing same-sex marriage into law, would have vetoed HB 437, sponsored by Republican David Bates, an attempt to disenfranchise thousands of same-sex couples along with gay, lesbian, and bisexual citizens who in the future might wish to marry. It was unclear if the GOP would have been able to assemble enough votes to override the Governor’s veto.
Good As You has a bit more.
The vote failed, 202 to 133 according to Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) legal group, tweeting from the state house.
A 74% Republican house
It failed to even pass, let alone reach a veto-sustaining majority it would have needed to get around Gov. John Lynch’s desk. The failure to even sustain a majority of House members votes can only be seen as a crushing defeat to religious right’s grip on the agenda of the Republican party, which controls 74% of the seats in the NH house. The party should have been easily been able to reach 50% +1.
NOM and other groups had been pushing to repeal marriage rights for gay couples, and they were delivered a huge upset. And fairness and moral correctness wins again.
Update 1 (Scottie Thomaston): GLAD reports the last expected vote was taken:
#nh4m last vote of the day to reconsider fails 87-211. Final victory. Amazing.
Update 2 (Scottie Thomaston): Phil Reese at The Washington Blade has a bit more about the Republican opposition to repeal:
Several Republicans crossed the aisle to defeat the measure, including Reps. Mike Ball and Jennifer Coffey, who spoke out against the bill last week along with other advocates and Democratic lawmakers at a news conference organized by the marriage equality group Standing Up For New Hampshire Families.
During a long and contentious debate on the bill in which the same amendment was brought back for reconsideration twice, strong statements were made on all sides of the issue.
“God is my judge, this legislative body is not my judge,” Rep. Cameron DeJong proclaimed. “Allow me to have this discussion between my God and me about my decisions.”
Rep. Ball compared the bill to segregation in the South, “Let’s put this dog down, like it deserves to be.”
Update 3 (Scottie Thomaston): NOM decries “activist legislators” (?) and says they “consider any vote cast against HB 437 to be a vote in favor of gay marriage, and we will act to hold every legislator accountable for such a vote.”
Update 4 (Scottie Thomaston): @Clarknt67:
Responding to their humiliating defeat in #NH, @nomtweets condemns representative democracy. #NH4M #LGBT #NO4M http://www.nomblog.com/20834/