Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed

Repeal of marriage equality in New Hampshire fails

Marriage equality

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.

And Wooledge at Daily Kos:

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.

You helped do this by funding Camp Courage; we worked with several hundred volunteers all across New Hampshire in partnership with Granite State Progress to fight this early on.

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:

Scott Wooledge

Responding to their humiliating defeat in #NH, @nomtweets condemns representative democracy. #NH4M #LGBT #NO4M


  • 1. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  March 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Happy dance!!!!

  • 2. Scottie Thomaston  |  March 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    !!!!! INDEED!

  • 3. Richard Lyon  |  March 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Hip Hip Hooray!

  • 4. Scottie Thomaston  |  March 21, 2012 at 2:37 pm


    This was an uncomfortably close thing. I hope it's the first of many antigay votes to fail.

  • 5. Jamie  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    It wasn't actually close. Uncomfortable yes.

  • 6. grod  |  March 21, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    For the final vote , if my count is right – there were 50 abstention, 49 being republlcans, as well as 21 absences, 17 being republicans

  • 7. chris from CO  |  March 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Cool this movement is moving forward.

  • 8. rocketeer500  |  March 21, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I sort of expected this. Not that I'm less happy, I think the repugicans knew that they were voting against the majority of the population.

    I would also expect that those who are up for re-election, knew that if they voted for the repeal, they might meet defeat in the next election.

    Hopefully, the GOP will now move on from this issue. Isn't there more pressing issues in NH than marriage equality?

  • 9. Jacob  |  March 21, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Given that the New Hampshire House is almost three-quarters Republican, it's hard to imagine a situation where repeal could ever succeed in the future. Couldn't be a bigger defeat for NOM.

  • 10. Scottie Thomaston  |  March 21, 2012 at 2:49 pm


    HA HA. This is such exciting news. I admit to not following the developments in NH as closely as I should have but this surprised me a whole lot. I'm happy.

  • 11. EricKoszyk  |  March 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Indeed! If it is ever going to be repealed today would have been the day.

    Now if only Iowa Republicans would give up trying to repeal marriage equality in that state!

  • 12. Straight4Equality  |  March 21, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Fantastic! We had a good shot at sustaining the veto, but I didn't expect it to be defeated at this point. And the vote wasn't even close! I am so proud of my state today!

  • 13. Joe  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    You are dead on correct there!

  • 14. MarcosLB  |  March 21, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    "crushing defeat" LOVE IT!!

  • 15. Frisky1  |  March 21, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    The numbers seem to be different on different sites. On Standing up for NH families and the New Civil Rights Movement its 211 to 116. Any way you slice it, its awesome news and quite surprising since it seemed like everyone thought they had enough to pass it.

  • 16. Scottie Thomaston  |  March 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    It seems like there were several votes…? I'm not 100% sure.

  • 17. Jacob  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    The New Hampshire House was a total mess throughout the day. There were several different votes, some on amendments crucial to the bill, some on reconsidering past votes, and then the larger one–which is the 211-116 one–that truly killed the original bill.

  • 18. Frisky1  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    That's what it seems like, or numbers were being reported after its defeat but before the end tally?

    It will be fun to figure out how many Republicans NOM now has to spend money defeating for this. Unless they just slink away from New Hampshire now.

  • 19. bjasonecf  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    It was said on the house floor (during the wrangling over the reconsideration vote) that 100 republicans voted in our favor. Not sure how accurate that is but NOM will have to shell out LOTS of hidden funds to attempt to overcome this!

  • 20. bjasonecf  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    I was watching the live feed. The "ought to pass" count that was announced by the Speaker was 133 – 202. I wondered about the reporting discrepancy, too.

  • 21. Jacob  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Those are the number I saw, too. Don't know what that's about–seems like everyone ran with the numbers the AP reported. Fortunately, a solid win regardless.

  • 22. bjasonecf  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Agreed, sir. I'll gladly concede splitting hairs over numbers that both amount to a stunning win!

  • 23. Sagesse  |  March 21, 2012 at 2:45 pm


  • 24. Rich  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    This is HUGE news for Maine, the next door neighbor to NH. The good citizens of Maine will see this as the right course for our own state. Now, we can be the first state to have the electorate pass marriage equality and join (almost…Rhode Island needs to get on board), the rest of New England to say: "ding dong the witch is dead" and equality rules the day. A massive smash down for NOM.

  • 25. Str8Grandmother  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    The Assistant Attorney General had e-mailed me that we should have access to the Sealed Trial Record (which is now unsealed because the Supreme Court denied NOM cert) today or tomorrow. Not a promise but a probably. So we can look forward within the next few days of seeing just what was in the NOM vs State of Maine Trial that was so important that they asked to have it sealed. That should help the efforts in Maine I would think.

    Maggie G and Brian Brown, bad news comes in threes. My grandma always said that. You lost New Hampshire, you lost Starbucks, I am hoping that unsealed Trial Record will be a number 3 for you.

  • 26. Rich  |  March 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Str8Grandmother…I love you! I have awaited for this news what seems like forever. Thank you for your perseverance in this matter. The crack is in the wall and NOM is about to crumble.

  • 27. Str8Grandmother  |  March 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Rich, I don't think this is the Maine vs NOM, but rather NOM vs Maine Court case that is going to disclose the donors. I think I am right that there were 2 trials.

    I think the "Show your Donors Trial" is the second one. BUT there must be something here, some little gem we can use, especially since NOM asked for it to be sealed. I read in the e-mail exchange between the attorneys that they were redacting the bank account numbers from the official trial record, so maybe we will find out more about how much money they have. Anything should help us, right? Although on Monday the judge extended the filing date the Assistant Attorney General thought that she might have it filed as of yesterday. In the meantime I am enjoying immensely the NH WIN! For the WIN New Hampshire, For The WIN!

  • 28. Frisky1  |  March 21, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Do you know if arrangements have been made to copy the documents? Last I heard they were to be available physically but not online. And that there was a reporter in Maine who would likely get them and/or Good As You was coordinating for someone to get them. And thanks for keeping up with this!

  • 29. Str8Grandmother  |  March 21, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Jeremy did e-mail me that someone he knows is getting them. If you go on the Good As You website in the topic with the NH loss, I am discussing this over there. There is a woman over there who only works a block away from the Courthouse. But it is not a real fast moving conversation.

  • 30. Steve  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    >"“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.”

    I suggest moving to Iran or Saudi Arabia. Alternatively becoming a priest. But he is clearly in the wrong job

  • 31. Jesse  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    I read that as he supports marriage equality and that was his reasoning for crossing party lines. Maybe I'm wrong?

  • 32. Steve  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    That makes it slightly less wrong, but still worrying

  • 33. bjasonecf  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I felt the same way, Jesse. I could be wrong but to me, it also sounded like he really, REALLY wanted to come out. Not that there's anything wrong with that! 🙂

  • 34. Jacob  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    He voted against repeal. He just said "God" a lot before doing it.

  • 35. bjasonecf  |  March 21, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    There are many things which people say "God" a lot before doing. I won't begrudge him this.

  • 36. bjasonecf  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    In watching, it was hard to tell but I think he was on our side. In his comments, he didn't say which way he was voting or encouraging others to vote. He spoke about how, basically, man was not to judge and that god loves all his [/her] children. He also said that as long as the state was in the marriage business it should treat all equally.

    I personally don't think that god or discussions about her/his wishes belong in a government forum but if he was arguing for our side from that slant, I'll take it!

  • 37. Rich  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    NOM now wants to challenge every legislator that voted to repeal. I say, "Go for it!"…with a 211-116 vote they'll be very busy and very poor and we'll all be very happy for it.

  • 38. Scottie Thomaston  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Won't they be a bit distracted trying not to lose in NC and MN as well?

  • 39. Matt  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    And Maine, Maryland, and Washington state.

  • 40. Scottie Thomaston  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I almost feel bad… no, wait .

  • 41. bjasonecf  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    … and (potentially) Washington and Maryland

  • 42. Reformed  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    So now NOM can shape shift back. No need to continue this misadventure of feigning support for civil unions.

  • 43. EricKoszyk  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    In other NOM news, Maggie Gallagher and others attended a Starbucks shareholders meeting in Seattle today to protest the mega corporation's support for marriage equality in Washington State. After they were rebuffed by the CEO himself, they have announced a boycott of Starbucks.

    Good luck with that.

  • 44. Jon  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    New Hampshire repubs are a very different breed than in red states, very focused on fiscal conservatism and actual constitutional rights. Which is one of the reasons why NH regularly elects republicans in a liberal state. But it also means they're not a very good bellwether for repubs in the rest of the country

  • 45. Straight4Equality  |  March 21, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Except for the Tea Party repubs elected in 2010. That has led to a conflict within the NH Republican legislators.

  • 46. Coronal  |  March 21, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Booya!!! Take that, NOM!

  • 47. nightshayde  |  March 21, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Hee hee — one of the comments mentions that Starbucks will likely lose DOZENS of dollars due to the boycott. 😀 Of course, they'll likely get even more business from people who are pleased that they stood up to the NOMbies.

    The coffee should go nicely with the Girl Scout Cookies I simply HAD to buy.

  • 48. Str8Grandmother  |  March 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    That there is funny, "Loose dozens of Dollars" ha-ha-ha-ha that one made me laugh out loud. thx

  • 49. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  March 21, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    That comment about Starbucks losing 'dozens' of dollars made me shoot coffee out my nose LOL

  • 50. bjasonecf  |  March 21, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Yes, Nightshayde – Starbucks and Girl Scout cookies (3 boxes of Samoas from my niece). Sounds lovely!

  • 51. Straght4Equality  |  March 22, 2012 at 9:36 am

    I made sure I bought Girl Scout cookies this year: both thin mints and samoas. And I suggest Ben & Jerry's ice cream to go with the cookies and Starbuck's coffee. B&J renamed their Chubby Hubby flavor to Hubby Hubby when Vermont got marriage equality and now they have renamed Apple Pie ice cream to Apple-y Ever After in honor of the UK likely getting it.

  • 52. John_B_in_DC  |  March 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    This is HUGE.

  • 53. bythesea  |  March 21, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Happy Day!! Nom has a crushing defeat in NH (and was humiliated by Starbucks shareholders). Great, great news!! Thank for reporting it Scottie!

  • 54. Scottie Thomaston  |  March 21, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Yay! I'm thrilled!

    Just updated this, too. NOM coined a new phrase: "activist legislators." Literally no clue what that means, since this was a vote brought by Republicans on a bill to repeal a law that was passed by a majority in both houses and signed into law by the Governor.

  • 55. Jacob  |  March 21, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    What a strange thing. How can a legislator not be an "activist" by their definition? Do you have to run from the House floor every time a bill comes up for debate? If Maine/Washington/Maryland works out, they'll be stuck complaining about the "activist electorate."

  • 56. Scottie Thomaston  |  March 21, 2012 at 5:24 pm


    You activist voters out there…!

  • 57. Straight4Equality  |  March 21, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    "Activist" anything is NOM speak for "those who don't see things our way".

  • 58. MightyAcorn  |  March 21, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    "Activist" is the new "Communist"….

  • 59. Scott  |  March 21, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Activist legislators? What's next, activist citizenry?

  • 60. Steve  |  March 22, 2012 at 6:48 am

    NOM are activist activists

  • 61. Kogenta  |  March 21, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    excellent!! Suck it NOM! Aw, yeah, you lost, I don't even live in that state, but it feels so good that you lost.

  • 62. BradK  |  March 21, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Didn't take long for NOM to launch and link to it from the top of their page. Yet notice how the new site makes absolutely no mention of NOM. A little bit of whois sleuthing shows that NOM took out the domain back in August…

    …wait for it…


    National Organization for Marriage
    20 Nassau Street
    Suite 242
    Princeton, NJ 08542
    United States

    Registered through:, LLC (
    Created on: 16-Aug-07
    Expires on: 16-Aug-12
    Last Updated on: 14-Mar-12

    Administrative Contact:
    Brown, Brian
    National Organization for Marriage
    20 Nassau Street
    Suite 242
    Princeton, NJ 08542
    United States
    +1.6096880450 Fax —

    So it looks like for at least the past 4 1/2 years NOM has been anticipating an eventual strike against SBX. Anyone know the history here? Was there something that SBX did all those years ago to bring down the wrath of Barney Rubble and Henrietta Hippo upon them?

    Meanwhile, some clever commenter over at

    suggested that people buy Starbucks gift certificates and mail them to NOM. This way, SBX gets their money up front (just in case a few misguided troglodytes actually sign onto the hate wagon and impact SBX revenue) and NOM can either go down the street and use them — exposing their well known hypocrisy — or simply throw them out. Either way it helps SBX while sticking a finger NOM's eye. I'll give you one guess which finger.

  • 63. Reformed  |  March 21, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    The is an aftermarket for unused gift cards. I am sure they would sell them to raise money. Not sure this is a good idea.

  • 64. Reformed  |  March 22, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Buy Starbucks gift cards, use them, then send them to MOM with a zero balance. That should keep them busy for a while. 🙂 You know, I think I will. 😉

  • 65. Jim H.  |  March 22, 2012 at 8:52 am

    While I think Starbuck's position is strong, it might be good for as many of us as possible to call the Starbucks comment line at 1 (800) 782-7282 and affirm their decision to be supportive of marriage equality in Washington. I just called and the representative seemed very appreciative of my comment.

  • 66. MightyAcorn  |  March 22, 2012 at 11:36 am

    That the domain was purchased in 2007 is interesting to me too, Brad….makes me wonder if they bulk-bought a bunch of URLs of big companies at that same time, thinking they might deploy them someday. Complete conjecture on my part, but I wonder if It's because when you boycott a big corporate player you get all kinds of free press due to the created "controversy." Any way to seach GoDaddy or Whois by name of registrant to see what else they bought in advance?

    And of course, no respectable website owner registers with GoDaddy anymore (even though they've purportedly changed ownership…also because their user interface is THE SUCK.)

  • 67. John_B_in_DC  |  March 21, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Yes, there were "activist legislators". The ones who ACTED to rescind marriage rights, and got smacked down for it.

    NOM can put any spin they want on this but this vote bodes very, very well for us.

  • 68. Scottie Thomaston  |  March 21, 2012 at 7:22 pm


  • 69. Bob  |  March 21, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    wow,,, and I was having a bad day!!!!! sure glad I tuned in here,,,, a WIN you guys are an absolute riot,,, enjoying the victory,,,, I'm smiling, now,,,,,, woot woot,,, way to go New Hampshire

  • 70. Menergy  |  March 21, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    next will be NOM's pushing for a NH public referendum "so the people can vote" — since the activist legislators have failed to truly represent their constituents and have fallen in line with the evil homosexualist elitist socialist nazi bully humongously powerful lobby and "immoral" activists……

    watch for it! (eye roll)

  • 71. Menergy  |  March 21, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    oh, and I forgot "out of state moneyed forces" that Brian Brownshirt referred to in an MSNBC interview (not blinking a pig's eye at the hypocrisy of ignoring himself and his out of state organization at NOM Hq. funding all the anti-gay bills and events everywhere they can)

  • 72. Lymis  |  March 22, 2012 at 5:31 am

    They can push for it, but it can't happen. New Hampshire doesn't have that sort of referendum process. They'd have to push a Constitutional amendment through first to allow referenda.

  • 73. Peterplumber  |  March 22, 2012 at 6:36 am

    From the NOMblog….
    "While we are disappointed in this vote today, we remain committed to giving the voters of New Hampshire the opportunity to restore the traditional definition of marriage. The only time gay marriage activists are able to win is when they can bypass the people and get activist judges or legislators to do their bidding, usually after plying them with large campaign contributions."

  • 74. Straght4Equality  |  March 22, 2012 at 9:27 am

    As though NOM doesn't reward their supporters by "plying them with large campaign contributions" (like NY, etc.).

  • 75. Shelley  |  March 21, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    I only hope the same thing happens in Minnesota.

  • 76. Deeelaaach  |  March 22, 2012 at 4:39 am

    This is OT, but the question just occurred to me. I’m curious: We are told by some in the Christian community that our Founding Fathers would support the government with religion in it that some wish to impose today. Of course, it’s never acknowledged that the version of Christianity practiced by the Founding Fathers is not the same kind of Christianity as the Christianity of today – today’s version came about during the revivals of the early 19th century. So here is what I’m curious about: If the Founding Fathers wanted Christianity of some two decades or more hence, why didn’t they impose it when they had the chance? Oh yeah, that’s why we have the First Amendment. Right?

  • 77. Frisky1  |  March 22, 2012 at 8:12 am

    There is an entire group of right wing extremists that are attempting to rewrite history to make it appear that the founding fathers were Christian and they wanted America to be governed by Biblical principles. These same people interpret the First Amendment as meaning the government can't stop the people from imposing their religious beliefs onto our laws. (Just wait until Christianity is no longer the dominant religion in America. lol) Look up David Barton, the king of this movement, to see what is being said and done to change history.

    I believe most of the founding fathers were Diests, not Christians, anyway. They believed in a creator who gave us science and reason but didn't follow any of the established religions. Its also important to remember that many of the alleged quotes from our founding fathers proclaiming their adherence to Christianity are either fake, attributable to other people, or completely out of context. Barton got into so much trouble regarding fake quotes that he posted a list of these unattributable quotes online with explanations of why they could have been written by the people that are claimed.

  • 78. Frisky1  |  March 22, 2012 at 8:13 am


    In one famous example, Jefferson writes a letter calling himself "a real Christian" which is used as proof that he was one. When actually he was blasting the Christians of his day as being nothing like what Jesus would have wanted and taught while he was a "disciple of the doctrines of Jesus". In other words, he admired what Jesus stood for and saw none of those qualities in the people who called themselves Christian at the time. Sound familiar?

  • 79. Deeelaaach  |  March 22, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    I hadn't heard of Barton. I'll look him up. Thanks!

  • 80. Rev. Will Fisher  |  March 22, 2012 at 4:54 am

    Re: NOM's Starbucks Boycott: they might have shop for coffee exclusively at Scott Lively's shop.

  • 81. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Ah yes, a nice cup of Crimes Against Humanity dark roast…. (Seriously, I want to see that guy in the dock at The Hague)

  • 82. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 22, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Late to the celebration, but wanted to agree that this is a major loss for NOM. This is a state legislature that was about to consider two anti-evolution bills in the house, but both failed (one by voice vote, the other 280-7, and I'd take bets on how those 7 voted on the marriage equality bill). It's a theme of religious right nonsense getting publicity and then failing spectacularly – may it continue!

  • 83. Straight Dave  |  March 22, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Evolution = crime?!?!?
    "we should be concerned with criminal ideas like this and how we are teaching it.", says the sponsor. That's how you wind up on the short end of 280-7.

    And they can still walk around without the least sign of shame or embarrassment. That's what amazes me.

  • 84. Sheryl_Carver  |  March 22, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    NOMbies love to talk about "redefining" marriage. They are actually the ones doing lots of redefining:
    – legal campaign donations (only the ones made by equality folks) = bribery
    – activist = they don't do what we want
    – elite = (see "activist")
    – lies (told by NOMbies & cohorts) = truth
    – opinions (of NOMbies & cohorts) = facts
    – religious freedom = everyone must obey OUR interpretation of OUR religious texts/teachings

    I could go on, but I must get back to work – moving to a new place & have to be out of this one by the 31st. Too much to do & seems like not enough time to do it. 🙁

Having technical problems? Visit our support page to report an issue!