Wednesday, November 2, 2011

N.H. Lawmaker Drops Anti-Marriage Equality Amendment

A New Hampshire lawmaker announced on Tuesday, Nov. 1, that he will not pursue a constitutional amendment that would ban marriage for same-sex couples.

State Rep. David Bates (R-Windham) told the Associated Press that he wants the Legislature to debate his bill that would repeal the state’s marriage equality law that took effect on Jan. 1, 2010. Three-fifths of both houses and two-thirds of voters would need to approve an amendment if it were to be adopted. Bates appeared to acknowledge this high threshold while stressing to the AP that he did not want to force his colleagues in Concord to choose between an amendment and the repeal measure.

"It would complicate the decision for legislators if there was another alternative out there," said Bates.

The House Judiciary Committee voted 11-6 on Oct. 25 to recommend repealing the state’s marriage equality statute that Gov. John Lynch signed into law in June 2009.

A recent University of New Hampshire Survey Center poll found that 62 percent of Granite State voters oppose efforts to repeal the state’s marriage equality law. Debate over the repeal measure could coincide with New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary that is expected to take place on Jan. 10.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry applauded efforts to repeal the marriage equality law during a speech he gave at Cornerstone Action’s annual banquet in Manchester on Oct. 28. Ray Buckley, chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, described Bates’ measure to Boy in Bushwick as “astonishing” after the House Judiciary Committee endorsed it.

No comments: