NH House To Vote On Marriage Repeal This Week. Gov Promises Veto

The New Hampshire Legislature is set to vote on repealing the state’s marriage-equality on Wednesday, the Boston Globe reports.

Back in October, the state’s House Judiciary Committee voted 11-6 to support HB 437, which would return the “Live Free or Die” state to civil unions. (Same-sex marriage passed in 2009 and officially became legal on January 1, 2010.)

The bill is being touted by state Rep. David Bates (R-Windham) but Bates’ past efforts at repeal have failed and even other Republicans have distanced themselves from it. NH Governor John Lynch (right)—who has said he’s personally against gay marriage—has promised to veto the bill if it go through.

Just to dig the knife in further, Bates wants an amendment to HB 437 that would ask the public to vote on whether they support killing marriage equality and bringing back civil unions. The result, however, would be non-binding.

“I am ready to accept the will of the people. Now let’s see if those on the other side of this debate will do the same,” Bates has told reporters about the referendum. “Or are the homosexual activists only interested in pushing through their own agenda without regard for the will of the people of this state?”

Right, so if the people of New Hampshire (59% of whom support same-sex marriage) vote to keep things the way they are, Mr. Bates and his cohorts will just pack up and go away? Or will they engage in a campaign of fear and disinformation to trick the electorate into voting their way? Hmm, we can’t help but wonder

Photo: Marc Nozell


Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #davidbates #johnlynch #marriageequality stories and more


  • MJ

    You know after trying over and over to Repeal something as you can see has no effect on you and that most others aren’t breaking their backs over, you’d think he’d given up by now. gotta love dedication. now let’s see if he can put that to a more important issue

  • The Real Mike in Asheville

    And this is EXACTLY why the 9th Court of Appeals ruling upholding Judge Walker’s decision in the Prop 8 case is so important. All that whining about how “narrow” the ruling was, in contrast to Ted Olsen’s view about how broad and expansive the ruling actually is.

    While the 9th Circuit ruling applies only to California, the ruling is solidly based on the Supreme Courts ruling on Colorado’s Amendment 2 case — government CANNOT take away civil rights granted to any class of citizens. Gay and lesbians have the right to marry in NH and not even the state government even with the backing of a change in the state constitution, can take away rights granted w/o violating the trumping US Constitution’s 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.

    Should the NH bigots succeed in their attempt to end marriage-equality, gay/lesbian couples will sue, and base the lawsuit on the precedent of the Prop 8 case. When that case goes to the 1st Circuit, they will either agree with the 9th Circuit, adding extensive precedent or they will disagree, forcing the issue to the Supreme Court.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Ted Olson and David Boise, via AFER’s prop H8 win, will put Master Bates in his place.

  • Joetx

    @The Real Mike in Asheville: Why is pointing out the 9th Circuit’s narrow ruling (it IS narrow – did you even read the decision?) “whining?”

    The 3-judge 9th Circuit panel’s majority decision WENT TO GREAT LENGTHS TO EMPHASIZE the fact that it was basing its ruling on the sequence of events whereby CA couldn’t give same-sex couples the right of marriage, same-sex couples start exercising those rights, & then by referendum take the rights away. I don’t know what your definition of “narrow” is as far as judicial decisions are concerned, but by mine that’s freakin’ narrow.

    Furthermore, the court did NOT address whether it is constitutional for SSM rights to be taken away by legislative act, when it was a legislative act that legalized SSM.

    In addition, the court did NOT address whether it is constitutional to take away SSM rights when they haven’t taken into effect yet, as is the case in WA & MD.

    That leaves courts A LOT of wiggle room. If you know anything about judges, they’re not big “activists” (unless they’re conservative, but that’s another conversation). Judges don’t like to go out on a limb & will rule as narrowly as possible to avoid controversy.

  • Stefan

    @Joetx: It’s the same thing though, a right granted and then taken away for no reason other then anti-gay animus.

    Perry v Brown will set strong precendent in the situations you described.

  • GreatGatsby2011

    Holy smokes! It’s the antichristie!


    Okay it’s a lame joke but I couldn’t help myself.

  • SkeeterVT

    @The Real Mike in Asheville: Not only are the Republicans in the New Hampshire legislature set to openly violate the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 1996 Romer v. Evans decision, but they’re also about to violate the high court’s even more landmark 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision, which clearly established the freedom to marry as a freedom that is fully protected under the Constitution by striking down laws in 16 states that barred interracial marriages.

    If — correction, WHEN — the Proposition 8 case reaches the Supreme Court, it will be VERY interesting to see if Justice Clarence Thomas, one of the most conservative members of the court, will even participate in the case. Thomas — the court’s second African-American justice who succeeded the late Justice Thurgood Marshall — is a direct beneficiary of the Loving v. Virginia decision.

    His is an interracial marriage; not only is Thomas’ second wife, the former Virginia Lamp, a white woman, but they live in the very state where Richard and Mildred Loving successfully fought the state’s Racial Purity Act, which the Supreme Court unanimously struck down as unconstitutional.

    Justice Thomas could be the surprise justice in the Prop. 8 case. He could either cast a surprise sixth vote in striking down the anti-gay marriage law (There is likely a bare majority of at least five justices — including conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the Romer v. Evans decision — who are prepared to strike it down), or Thomas could recuse himself, leaving only three certain votes on the court to uphold Prop. 8.

    Of course, this is only speculation ion my part. But consider the possibilities!

  • 1equalityUSA

    Being continually mired in legal conflicts from coast to coast is financially draining and oppressive. Politicians, hate groups, and Church-businesses build careers on our backs, while others dangle equality in front of us for a price. Our votes are coerced, less free, when inalienable rights are held beyond our grasp. I resent this oppression, this usury. I resent having my vote coerced by artificial limitations that steal freedom from so many Americans the majority finds unpopular. The Supreme Court needs to put an end to this discrimination once and for all. Two tiers of rights cannot be tolerated. Equality is inevitable. Constitutionally, we shall wash our swords in the Sea and our Country will have been strengthened, for having overcome bigotry, once again.

Comments are closed.