The House is expected to vote this afternoon on a measure that would repeal the State’s 2009 law that legalized same-sex marriage.
There is a decidedly quiet mood outside the Statehouse today, as both opponents and supporters of gay marriage await an anticipated vote on a repeal. The Republican-sponsored measure attempts to re-define marriage as between a man and a woman. The bill would allow for civil unions.
Statehouse observers expect a close vote, in part because of a strong libertarian streak that runs through many House Republicans.
About two-dozen members of the pro-gay marriage group Standing Up For New Hampshire Families held a news conference to urged the defeat of the bill slated for a vote in the House Wednesday. State Rep. Mike Ball, chairman of the Manchester Republican Committee, compared the repeal effort to a segregation law, and added he can’t back his party platform’s opposition to gay marriage.
"The Republican platform is wrong on that issue. That’s the bottom line. Much as I’d like to say we are a hundred percent right, on this one we are not right. This is a civil liberties issue."
Three representatives from the North Country voted not to kill House Bill 1264 which would have allowed “an individual to choose not to provide accommodations, goods, or services for a marriage if doing so would violate his or her conscience or religious faith.”
On June 3, 2009, Governor John Lynch signed a law that allowed gay marriage in the Granite State. A little less than 7 months later, the first wedding ceremonies began to be performed. At the time, New Hampshire made history as the first state to pass a same-sex union bill without a court order or the threat of one. But before the first "I do" was uttered, some groups and lawmakers vowed to pass legislation overturning the law. Last year, bills were tabled to focus on the budget, but now this year several pieces of legislation are on the table and money on both sides of this interest is
Couples Gretchen Grappone and Rose Wiant (left). and Wendy Waterstrat and Holly Henshaw hold hands before their civil union, in front of the Statehouse in Concord, N.H., on Jan. 1, 2008.
Credit Josh Rogers / NHPR
Activists against same-sex marriage demonstrate at the New Hampshire Statehouse last week. A Republican state representative has introduced a bill that would repeal the law legalizing same-sex marriage in the state.
As several states debate measures to legalize gay marriage, New Hampshire is considering a repeal of its same-sex marriage law. The repeal has the backing of some top leaders in the GOP-controlled Legislature. But rescinding rights is never easy, particularly in a state that takes its liberties seriously.
With the constant legal and legislative changes affecting same-sex couples across the country, it might seem an impossible feat to keep track.
In The Geography of Love: Same-Sex Marriage & Relationship Recognition in America (The Story in Maps), authors Mike Strong and Peter Nicolas do just that. They offer a concise view of the political landscape regarding gay marriage. And they do so in a unique way: offering visual representations of votes and legal rights.
Same-sex marriage is back in the headlines with a ruling on Proposition 8 in California and legislative action in Washington state. Earlier this week, New Hampshire saw rallies both for and against traditional marriage. As this front in the culture war rages from coast to coast, maybe it’s time to figure out exactly what we’re fighting over.
Politicians and journalists always run a risk when they judge a voter strictly on on appearances.
There was a reminder of that Monday when Mitt Romney was forced to defend his opposition to gay marriage during a restaurant encounter with a grizzled Vietnam veteran who happened to be gay.
As it turned out the vet, Bob Garon, also was sitting at a restaurant booth with his husband when the unsuspecting Romney, campaigning at the Manchester restaurant, asked if he could sit down with them.