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An encouraging sign from New Hampshire

Timothy Kincaid

March 13th, 2012

It is clear that New Hampshire Rep. Bob Bates would ban recognition for same sex couples entirely if he were to have his way. It is becoming increasingly clear that Bates is realizing that he may not get anything.

When Republicans won veto-proof majorities in both state houses, conventional wisdom assumed that they would reverse the state’s marriage law.

And bates was quick with a bill that would not only ban equality but make a mockery of civil unions. (AP)

Bates’ first amendment to the repeal bill would have allowed civil unions for any two adults and would have let anyone refuse to recognize the unions. It also would have allowed anyone to discriminate against such couples in employment, housing and public accommodations based on religious or moral beliefs.

But with a populace that has accepted – and now supports – the marriage law and with party leadership more interested in fiscal issues, the likelihood of that threat has diminished. Now it seems promising that enough Republicans will vote to retain the law so that Democratic Governor John Lynch’s promised veto will hold.

And Bates is beginning to sound a little desperate.

His latest proposal is to revert to civil unions for same sex couples but not siblings or bowling buddies, but to put it to the people in November in a non-binding resolution. While he says that this would give the legislature time to reverse itself if marriage has public support, it is obvious that his hope is that he could marshal enough Republicans to ignore the people’s position. (It is politically easier to block the passage offerings equality than it is to reverse it – even against popular opinion).

While watching weather vanes is not a very exact political indicator, this sounds like good news to me.

Comments

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PhilDC
March 13th, 2012 | LINK

Not that I want this to happen, but it would be interesting to see the result if the marriage law was repealed and then a non-binding vote of the people said they wanted marriage equality. NOM would have to argue that the “will of the people” be ignored in deference to legislative action.

StraightGrandmother
March 13th, 2012 | LINK

let’s hope you are reading the tea leaves correctly.

Matt
March 18th, 2012 | LINK

Maybe not- it looks like there will be a vote on the Bates bill this week according to this story:
http://instinctmagazine.com/blogs/blog/new-hampshire-house-scheduled-to-vote-this-week-on-same-sex-marriage-repeal?directory=100011

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