battle royale

Why NOM Is Lashing Out At New Hampshire’s Top House Republican D.J. Bettencourt

When New Hampshire’s House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt decided lats week to table his party’s planned repeal of the state’s same-sex marriage law, we cheered! The National Organization for Marriage, however, fumed. Having spent oodles and oodles of cash to help elect Republicans to the state legislature, NOM wanted some return on its investment — but Bettencourt screwed Brian Brown & Co. out of a 2011 victory. So how did NOM respond? With retaliation, bombarding Bettencourt’s Salem district with mailers claiming the ultimate of sins: that he “stand[s] with Governor Lynch and does not support traditional family values.” Not that Bettencourt is taking it lying down. On Friday, after having previously said that while he didn’t think same-sex marriage was a priority but he’d take up the bill anyhow, he confirmed he’s pushing the House Judiciary Committee to leave it alone until next year. “Same-sex marriage remains a deeply controversial issue,” says Bettencourt in an open letter to House Speaker William O’Brien. “This assault on our agenda has the potential to take important focus and energy away from our focus on the budget. Therefore, it is my belief that the same-sex marriage repeal must be retained in the Judiciary Committee this year so that our full and undivided attention is focused on New Hampshire’s outstanding financial issues.” The takeaway? Whenever we see supposedly social conservative Republican lawmakers feuding with NOM, it’s a win for the gays.