Wednesday, March 21, 2012

NH House Defeats Marriage Equality Repeal Bill!

Great news from New Hampshire! Despite expectations that the Republican majority in the New Hampshire legislature would pass HB 437 to repeal that state's 2009 marriage equality law and that the fight would be over whether the heterosexual supremacists could override a promised veto from Democratic Governor John Lynch.

Instead, today the New Hampshire House voted 211-116 to defeat the bill, thus preserving the right of same-sex couples to receive civil marriage licenses in the Live Free or Die state.

The Washington Blade reports:
House bill 437, which would have prevented New Hampshire from recognizing any new same-sex marriages and revived the 2007 civil unions law in its place, was introduced last year by GOP Rep. Bates, along with 11 Republican co-sponsors. After the bill lost traction in the House last week, Bates introduced an amendment that would put a nonbinding question on the issue before voters in November, prior to the law’s official repeal date in March 2013, as well as have left intact the 2,000 existing same-sex marriages already recognized by the state, much like California’s post-Proposition 8 law that created, what advocates call 15,000 “limited edition” legally recognized same-sex marriages in that state. 
The floor amendment, meant to give the law a better chance of surviving a veto, failed to be adopted after a vote of 162-188, leaving the bill less likely to become law in the long run. 
After a failed first vote on returning to civil unions, the legislature voted to divide the combined civil unions-referendum amendment into separate issues, an effort that also failed on a vote of 128 to 222. 
Countering the call for a ballot initiative, Rep. Steve Murphy (R- Bedford) declared, “The rights of the people are not subject to popular vote.”Earlier, the initial vote on the civil unions amendment — prior to the multiple votes to reconsider — failed on a vote of 82 to 266.
This is great news! It just goes to show the extent to which heterosexual supremacists like the National Organization for Marriage is losing the fight against marriage equality nationwide. NOM abandoned any pretense of principle and actually announced their support for the version of HB 437 which would have (re)enacted civil unions in New Hampshire, which is in direct contravention with public announcements they made against civil unions legislation in Illinois.

As I predicted earlier this year, in 2013 there will be more Americans living in jurisdictions where marriage equality is legal than there is right now, despite the efforts of NOM and other heterosexual supremacists to force ballot measures on these issues in Washington, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina and Maine.

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