NH House Approves Same-Sex Marriage in Dramatic Vote Turnaround

 Last week, the New Hampshire House Judiciary Committee sent HB 556, which would allow gay couples to marry, to the House floor without recommendation after deadlocking 10-10 on it.

NhToday, after initially failing by one vote (183-182), the New Hampshire House took a second vote under a motion to reconsider, and seven lawmakers switched their votes.

The bill passed 186-179, and now goes on to the senate.

It also survived a 177-189 vote to kill it, and another failed effort to postpone it for "more work."

The Union-Leader reports: "Gov. John Lynch does not support same-sex marriage. His press
secretary Colin Manning said, 'The civil unions bill he signed into law
prevents discrimination and provides the same legal protections to all
New Hampshire families to the extent that is possible under federal
law.' The bill was amended today to state that no clergy of any
religion could be required under the bill to officiate at a same-sex
marriage. Rep. David Pierce, D-Etna, in arguing for passage, told
House members, 'Both sides of this debate believe in the institution of
marriage,' said. 'We all want the same things during our time on earth.
It doesn’t matter if you’re straight or gay.' Rep. Laura Gandia,
R-Litchfield, warned it will make children of this and future
generations 'guinea pigs in a massive social experiment that is
irreversible.' Democrats were joined by about a dozen Republicans in passing the bill."

More details as they come in…


  1. Rafael says

    Is there a local group one can donate to that will do something to push the issue? do we have an strategy here or are is our fate in the air once again?

  2. Casey says

    Knowing that moderate New England republicans are an endangered species, I can’t believe these republican governors who are threatening to veto these bills that clearly have both popular and legislative support.

    How many times do voters have to make it clear that we’re not going to tolerate this culture war garbage anymore?

  3. says

    “How many times do voters have to make it clear that we’re not going to tolerate this culture war garbage anymore?” – This is my question also. Do we REALLY want to spend our LIFETIME fighting this? REALLY? 20-30 years?

    The BIG reality-truth: How can the Q “community” (lol) demand ANYTHING without having something – $omething – to wield with our demand$? We are like a child wagging our finger and stamping the ground with letters, calls, and “protests” – how threatening. Who will take us seriously when we ACT as if we are not entitled? If you think “threatening” is bad and scary, DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA OF THE “THREAT” INEQUALITY IS TO YOUR OWN HEALTH AND HAPPINESS? Fine. Wait until your spouse of 30 years dies in the other room while you are held back by staff. To me THAT is threatening.

    Our movement needs to grow up, grow some balls, and start acting more like straight men (or fierce drag queens)- and stop being obssessed with our “appearance” as good little gay activists.

  4. John says

    what we do NOT have is a national leader of any respect. We also do not have any national organization…by the I mean no common plan, no cooperation between gay rights groups, no nothing. It’s why we lost in CA, HI, maybe VT. and now in NH. Hell, we just beat back an attempt in PA to amend the constitution again. We need leaders now!

  5. Ben says

    Andy – thanks so much for all your leadership in getting these stories to us – they are so so under-covered in the MSM. Same for all these horrible hate crime stories – you shine this light on these situations; hard as they are to read, they are critically, crucially important.

    Separately, I am astounded by how many members there are in little new hampshire’s house of representatives! Every hamlet must be represented!

  6. BoxerDad says

    Color me cynical. The gov announced yesterday that he would veto the measure if it passed. A handful of legislators changed their votes to yes after it was clear there were not enough votes to override a veto. So they can pander to the gays by saying they voted for it, but won’t get blamed by the right wingers for getting it passed.

  7. says

    “Our movement needs to grow up, grow some balls, and start acting more like straight men (or fierce drag queens)- and stop being obssessed with our “appearance” as good little gay activists.”

    I don’t know about NH, because I don’t live there, but I can assure you that in VT our movement is quite grown up, possesses balls, and quite effective ones at that. That’s why, after 8 years of solid grassroots work, we have the public and the legislature on our side. If the governor’s veto succeeds, we will not be “good little gay activists” and I suspect the NH people won’t either.

    Re: national leaders. Yes, we need them desperately, but it’s equally important to have local leaders, and in New England we have them, they just don’t get the publicity they deserve.

  8. clint says

    Ya, the vetoes are the most disheartening thing in all this. Seems like every time we win a legislative battle…STAMP. Why do WE have to muster supermajorities?

  9. GregV says

    It`s great news that NH legislators are onside for equality.
    But I do get tired of these Red Herrings getting thrown in about how clergy must not be required to do anything in their churches. That goes without saying!
    Blacks and women are allowed to vote, and we don`t have footnotes saying that churches don`t have to let blacks or women vote within them. Catholics and Southern Baptists still don`t listen to female voices, and that`s fine with the state because that`s religious and this is CIVIL. Same with marriage. The churches are constitutionally guaranteed a very strong freedom of religion already, therefore amendments to civil laws about what goes on in churches should be considered totally redundant and nonsensical.

  10. says

    “Rep. Laura Gandia, R-Litchfield, warned it will make children of this and future generations guinea pigs”

    If wishes were horses beggars would ride… and if gays could get married children would be guinea pigs? That’s some crazy Harry Potter shit, that is!

    Actually, that would be totally cute — little guinea pigs wearing tiny backpacks, rolling around on tiny skateboards, sending text messages on tiny cell phones….

  11. Andalusian Dog says

    Having grown up in New Hampshire, I am happy to see its well-known strident individualism working in the favor of the gay community once again. It’s a very strange state, which wishes to see itself as moderately more conservative than its “crazy hippie” neighbors to the north, west, and south. People tend to misunderstand it as a “libertarian” homeland, with fiscally conservative policies and more-or-less socially liberal ones. But to really understand the state, one actually needs to look no further than the fact that most folk there really just want everyone to mind their own business. This is of utmost importance. What your neighbors do in business or in bed is generally not a matter for discussion or interest for that matter. My guess is that most of the townies in the little “hamlet” that I spent much of my childhood and teen years in would not be thrilled with the fact that I’m gay, but on the other hand, they probably would think it rude or pushy to ask, speculate about, discuss or even hold an opinion on the matter (perhaps only in private).

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