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OMG: New Hampshire Republicans may not vote to repeal marriage!!

Timothy Kincaid

February 2nd, 2012

Yesterday was supposed to be the day that the New Hampshire legislature voted to repeal marriage equality. And all day I kept trying to find out what was going on, only to be met with silence. Now I know why. According to the Boston Globe, the New Hampshire House Republicans have issued a statement listing their 2012 agenda, and repealing marriage equality is not on it.

Okay, I knew it was a possibility. And I’m not totally shocked. But I really didn’t dare hope – and I’m still not willing to read too much into this announcement:

Republican House Leader Rep. D.J. Bettencourt of Salem said Thursday the House was focusing on economic and education reforms that would bring job creators to New Hampshire and put citizens back to work.

Hot-button social issues like gun rights, immigration and labor reform were all absent from the agenda, but the biggest hole was left by gay marriage, which is the target of several bills aiming to repeal it.

After hours of meetings and talking with the caucus, they determined that this wasn’t a priority.



Ben In Oakland
February 2nd, 2012 | LINK

Not a priority/

More likely, it was promising to be a major embarassment to them.

And people wonder why our politics are such a mess. As dorothy said to her companions: no courage, no brains, and no heart. Why aren’t you guys in politics?

February 2nd, 2012 | LINK

“Wasn’t a priority,” of course, being unsubtle code for “we counted votes and there weren’t enough.”

February 2nd, 2012 | LINK

It’s a trap!

Timothy Kincaid
February 2nd, 2012 | LINK

My guess is that the Republican caucus couldn’t come to a consensus.

The crazies want to replace marriage with civil unions between anyone – siblings, father/daughter, anyone – in order to make it legally and socially meaningless.

Some want civil unions but insist that the be “all but the name” marriages.

Some want to keep it like it is.

Some (a sizable chunk which I saw estimated at about 30) want to do away with government marriage altogether and give everyone a civil union and let each church decide. (Those who see themselves as ambassadors of the Vatican hate this idea… it treats all churches equally and religious equality is what they hate more than anything).

And I suspect that a very big segment really just want to never ever talk about the subject again.

February 2nd, 2012 | LINK

I think it’s important to remember that SSM in NH can be very easily overturned next year if 1) Republicans keep their very substantial majority in the legislature and 2) whoever replaces Gov. Lynch is willing to sign the repeal.

If the new governor is anti-SSM, they only need a one-vote spread in each house to effect the repeal.

February 2nd, 2012 | LINK

I suspect that they are planning either –

1. to work things out quietly and then spring a revised amendment and rush it through before the end of the session; or

2. if they think they cannot produce an amendment that would have enough support to override Lynch’s veto, wait until next year in the (not unreasonable) hope they’ll have someone like Ovide Lamontage as governor – so not only no veto, but active arm-twisting for repeal.

It’s my naturally sunny disposition – I’m always seeing the bright side of things!

Sam Y
February 2nd, 2012 | LINK

I read on JMG that he believes it’s was the governor’s veto threat that might have done it in. I think it’s a combination of things that stopped the repeal. I’ll say this much that I’m thankful for the true libertarian streaks that stick to Republicans so well when it comes to this issue. I hope progressives, equality-minded conservatives, and other supporters will vote this coming election to increase the number of pro-equality state legislators in New Hampshire. Crossing my fingers now.

February 2nd, 2012 | LINK

“Some (a sizable chunk which I saw estimated at about 30) want to do away with government marriage altogether and give everyone a civil union and let each church decide.”

I don’t understand how this “solution” is different than the current regime of courthouse-marriages & church-marriages already in place? & how would that work on a Federal Level? The latest language that I saw in a statutory replacement for DOMA was: For the purposes of any Federal law in which marital status is a factor, an individual shall be considered married if that individual’s marriage is valid in the State where the marriage was entered into or, in the case of a marriage entered into outside any State, if the marriage is valid in the place where entered into and the marriage could have been entered into in a State.

So under that language, for Federal Purposes, would people who live in NH & are not church-married in NH not have marriages unless they married outside of the country?

Its all so confusing…

Jim Burroway
February 2nd, 2012 | LINK

If I recall, that’s pretty much how 2011 played out. Good news indeed.

February 2nd, 2012 | LINK

Smart move.

Perry v. Schwarz/Brown is going to be with SCOTUS in the next year or two. Why take away SSM when it will be forcably mandated as an equal right throughout the land in the near future.

February 2nd, 2012 | LINK

If the special elections in 2011in the New Hampshire house were any indication, the Democrats are going to make significant gains this fall.

February 3rd, 2012 | LINK

I have suspected for several weeks that many NH GOPers really didn’t have their hearts in this considering polling, etc.

All they needed to do was to give things a little time to appease the crazies and to find an escape hatch: they’ve found the escape hatch & exited.

Methinks, this is really another example of the progress we are making towards marriage equality in the country… not unlike what we witnessed in NY last summer.

February 3rd, 2012 | LINK

I have noticed a number of Republicans (including a representative from my district) who won independent voters on ‘fiscal responsibility’ have started pushing conservative social agendas rather than/in addition to their fiscal promises. My readings of the news from NH has indicated to me something similar happened in the state legislature. I expect voters will be smart enough to see in 2012 that they can only choose between fiscal conservatives with extremely conservative social agendas or fiscal moderates with moderate/liberal social views, and will choose the latter as preferable.

February 3rd, 2012 | LINK

Be careful…… it might be a trap. Not making much noise, and suddenly moving forward.

February 4th, 2012 | LINK

I think you are reading too much into that statement. That statement has no impact on the legislative docket and is not binding. Nor is it an exhaustive list of their agenda. As far as I know, the repeal bill is still on the docket and can be on the floor at any time. The sponsor, David Bates, has not withdrawn it.

I am really amazed that the NH press doesn’t cover this story. Like you, I couldn’t find even a single article clarifying the status of this thing. A real contrast with the heavy media coverage in NY, WA, MD, and NJ.

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