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The impossible happened in New Hampshire

Timothy Kincaid

March 21st, 2012

The New Hampshire legislature has a Republican majority. Not just any majority, but a super-majority – the number necessary to override any veto by the Democratic Governor, John Lynche.

Today the House of Representatives did the unexpected. They voted NOT to reverse marriage equality. By a vote of 202 to 133 211 to 116.

We have been hoping (and more recently believing) that there would be enough Republicans voting “no” to sustain a veto of the bill. I certainly did not expect that enough Republicans would oppose the bill so as to not have it pass. And I never dreamed of a loss with a margin like this one.

I don’t yet know who was present and who was missing, but at most only 45% 40% of the House’s Republican caucus (and I don’t think any Democrats) showed up and voted to repeal marriage equality.

This is indeed a very important day.

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Priya Lynn
March 21st, 2012 | LINK

Maybe the Republicans have finally seen the writing on the wall.

Timothy Kincaid
March 21st, 2012 | LINK

Priya Lynn,

Let’s hope so. Or at least, the writing on the poll.

Priya Lynn
March 21st, 2012 | LINK

That’s how it seems to me anyway. I think they see they’re never going to stop the march of progress and they figure its time to get on the right side of history.

PLAINTOM
March 21st, 2012 | LINK

If this vote simply reflects political expediency for some Republicans who voted against the bill, this vote is still remarkable. Republicans in a majority Republican legislature recognized the voters favored marriage equality and it was in their own best political interest to vote accordingly. The wedge issue is starting to work against the haters.

occono
March 21st, 2012 | LINK

….I guess I was oddly optimistic here. I never saw it passing myself. I was just outraged the vote was even happening. No bloody justifications given at all.

Though I am quite pessimistic about voter referendums. Washington State is the first I’ve felt genuine hope in.

Of course, I’m not American, just going by what I perceive from the internet. I didn’t think this had any momentum at all.

StraightGrandmother
March 21st, 2012 | LINK

I guess they really do mean it, “Live Free or Die”

andrew
March 21st, 2012 | LINK

Those are my people! My yankee pride is on full display!!

Folks – the rank and file NH Republicans are not your national Republicans… they want government to stay out of their crap. I have several conservative friends who live in NH who get completely partisan and irrational about issues like foreign policy and taxation… but all line up in favor of gay marriage. Social conservatism, by and large, just doesn’t sit well with folks up here… especially when the real issue, as anyone there can tell you, is jobs and the economy…

StraightGrandmother
March 21st, 2012 | LINK

Thank you so much Andrew!

jerry
March 21st, 2012 | LINK

The only thing that would make this story better would be pictures of Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher when they hear or when they heard this news.

That’s my hateful comment for the day.

Hunter
March 22nd, 2012 | LINK

Priya Lynn/Timothy –

Don’t get your hopes up. I ran across an analysis of the social conservative mindset that I think bears repeating (in paraphrase):

“Do they care about marriage? They care about winning. Do they care about children? They care about winning. Do they care about morality? They care about winning.”

They’ll be back.

mikenola
March 22nd, 2012 | LINK

Actually I think one of the often overlooked (or at least vastly unmentioned) aspects of surprises like this vote is visibility.

20-35 years ago very few people in New Hampshire, Iowa, Texas, etc were willing to publicly say they were gay, had a gay friend or child, or that they did not care about other peoples sex lives.

Today that is different, and for many people the scales of religious ranting are falling from their eyes on this issue.

Projects like It Gets Better and television shows that are gay supportive have helped hurry people along the path of public acceptance.

It’s not a perfect plan, and some will always “hate” others who don’t conform to their personal belief, but finally people are getting the clue that “hating” on another group is a bad idea politically.

Priya Lynn
March 22nd, 2012 | LINK

Hunter, I think they see they can’t win in the long run that’s why they decided to get on the right side of history with this vote.

Timothy (TRiG)
March 22nd, 2012 | LINK

A while ago on a Christian forum I saw someone saying that he’d argue against granting rights to gay people, but once those rights had been granted he wouldn’t want to see them taken away. This wasn’t just his feelings: he had some argument in favour of this position. I didn’t understant it.

TRiG.

Timothy (TRiG)
March 22nd, 2012 | LINK

(I suspect the argument was a post hoc rationalisation, actually.)

Hunter
March 22nd, 2012 | LINK

Priya Lynn –

It’s not the legislators I’m thinking about here — it’s NOM, FRC, AFTAH, etc., and their local fronts, who won’t quit.

After all, it’s the way they make their livings.

Priya Lynn
March 22nd, 2012 | LINK

I agree with you there Hunter.

Andrew
March 23rd, 2012 | LINK

Priya, I seriously don’t think you understand folks in NH, and I don’t appreciate your sense that folks in that part of the country care so much about what anyone else thinks that they’d trip over themselves to look good for, say, folks in NYC, Boston, or DC. In fact, I can easily imagine folks up there doing things just to tweak those folks. What you’re saying might be truer of folks on the national stage, but not so much up in NH.

As for visibility – it ABSOLUTELY matters. Most of my conservative friends would never have really had strongly held beliefs about gay marriage were it not for being friends / family with me. When the stakes are low and it doesn’t involve you, it’s easy to take positions that are out there. It’s another story when you have a face to put to it…

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