New Hampshire Braces for Attempted Theft of Gay Marriage in 2011
A conservative effort to repeal New Hampshire's marriage equality law seems like a sure thing, with four separate Legislative Service Requests (precursors to bills) filed already in the NH legislature.
One of the bills, still in its initial phases, would revert state law to civil unions rather than full marriage rights, legislators say, while another would call for a full constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
It’s unclear what effect any of the bills, if passed, would have on the estimated 1,500 couples married this year.
“I thought we were past this. We got married. We don’t think we’ve harmed anything,” said Murphy, 51, who left Friday for the Florida Keys, where she and Swartwout, her partner of 20 years, will celebrate a delayed honeymoon.
Any successful legislative repeal will be subject to Governor John Lynch's veto.
JP Massar at Daily Kos writes:
"What will it take to sustain the Governor's veto? Assuming all remaining Democrats would vote to sustain the veto, it would take four Republican Senators, for a total of 9 votes of out 24, or 32 Republican House members, for a total of 134 votes of out 400 to deny a two-thirds supermajority. My understanding is that the former (finding four Republican Senators) is considered extremely unlikely, leaving it to defenders of marriage equality to round up at least 32 House Republicans (and possibly more, if there are Democratic defectors) -- approximately 11% or one in every nine Republican House members."
Who are the outside players?
The lead organizations in the fight are likely to be Cornerstone Action and New Hampshire Freedom to Marry. Cornerstone is affiliated with a national organization - CitizenLink (formerly Focus on the Family) - which could support state efforts. But both sides are also attracting attention from other groups.
On the side of repealing gay marriage, the National Organization for Marriage spent nearly $1.5 million on campaign ads against Lynch. The day after the November election, National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown said in a press release that the organization is "poised to start taking back territory where (gay marriage) was wrongly enacted in places like New Hampshire and Iowa. That will be the next battleground, and we are confident of victory."
Brown said last week that the organization will continue to work closely with Cornerstone "to make sure that the wrong of forcing same-sex marriage on New Hampshire is corrected."
The Family Research Council also has a presence in New Hampshire, which it plans to continue. It contributed the legal maximum donation of $5,000 to Cornerstone's PAC during the elections.