The 211-116 margin was a victory for gay rights advocates. It was also a shock to social conservatives, who thought a 3 to 1 GOP majority combined with a party platform that defines marriage as a between a man and women, would secure the bill’s passage.
Deep into a debate that lasted 2 hours and included 10 separate votes, Kingston Republican David Welch stated what by then was plain: gay marriage is topic that divides House Republicans.
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.
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.
About 200 people showed up to hold signs and hear speeches by gay marriage critics. House speaker William O’Brien, GOP gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne and Republican national committeewoman Phylliss Woods all said its time to undo the two year old law allowing gays to marry. David Bates, a State Rep. from Windham, wrote the repeal bill and MC'd the rally.