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. 

The Nashua Telegraph reports: Nh

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? Nh

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.



  1. Mike says

    You mean to tell me that a year after passing the bill that the legislature has changed so dramatically to override a governor’s veto? I find that incredibly hard to believe.

  2. Robert says

    @mike According to Wikipedia The democrats went from 216 members of the house (out of 400) to only 102, so yes it did change that much.

  3. TampaZeke says

    If there were ever a time to get serious and get involved THIS IS IT!

    It’s time to rally the troops.

    We MUST turn this effort back or you can be certain of a domino effect in New England. NOM and FRC are counting on it!

  4. sugarrhill says

    We’ll maybe this wouldn’t have happened if people in NH didn’t vote Republican. Oh well, you get the government you vote for.

  5. says

    Tampazeke, I’m not sure where you see the dominos falling. MA, VT, and CT can’t move anywhere away from equality. In VT we had exactly the opposite situation: a veto-proof majority to override the Governor’s bigoted veto of equality. 96% of those legislators were reelected, thanks to VT Freedom to Marry. MA and CT both had court cases and now the majority of their citizens are also on the right side (as are ours). There’s no way they’d be able to swing a constitutional amendment, which is what would be required there.

    NH is just historically more Repug than the rest. Maine, too, is problematic, but eventually that will change.

    This is more about sending messages elsewhere, not about New England.

  6. says

    I actually don’t think this will create a domino effect in New England (marriage equality is completely secure in my state, VT, and in MA, for instance), but it would be a major setback, and a signal to NOM etc. that they have the power to strip away our rights. And if we needed further proof of why Republican majorities are bad for us–despite the LCR/GOProud fairytales about a more tolerant Republican party–this is it. This wouldn’t be happening under a Democratic majority.

  7. Arjuna says

    We REALLY DO NEED TO TAKE ACTION to prevent marriage equality from being destroyed in New Hampshire. Perhaps AFER (Ted Olson & Co.) need to start spending time in NH trying to get some of the “libertarian” republicans on board to stop this thing.

  8. Sam says

    I’m hoping that New Hampshire’s libertarian streak will show up big time. Last time repeal was put to a vote, a huge number of Republicans joined Democrats in killing it. I’m hoping that we get enough Republicans to kill this repeal.

  9. ratbastard says

    NH’s state government is different from other NE states, even other states across the country. It’s legislature operates only part of the year, and they’re paid a very nominal sum. The state itself is about as libertarian as you’re gonna get, but it also has a history of being very conservative. This is changing because of the large numbers of people moving up from Boston and eastern MA/Greater Boston. Most of the population of NH lies close to the MA border and southern NH is really now an outer suburb of Boston. Nashua is only 35-40 miles north of downtown Boston.

  10. rafi says

    Angry gays who decided to stay home on Nov. 3 because they were angry at Democrats’ inaction — your plan to hasten equality is clearly working! Keep up the good work!

  11. ratbastard says


    Too bad there are usually A LOT of strings attached to any 2011 version of a ‘Progressive’ policy, government [same of course with neo-con or other radical ideology]. 99% of gays want and approve of equality under the law for gays. Unfortunately, many do not agree with other ‘Progressive’ ideas. I now believe what was called a wingnut conspiracy: ‘Progressives’ want to see the collapse of America’s middle class and traditional population, and are doing everything they can to flood the country with uneducated, 3rd world ‘Immigrants’ who they believe it’ll be much easier to control and manipulate. This type of dominant population is the only kind where radical ‘Progressives’ can hope to flourish for any extended period. A poor, desperate, and ignorant population will do and say anything in order to receive social services and government benefits. They are in an un-holy alliance with radical neo-cons and fascist big business who like-wise have their selfish reasons for desiring the situation described above.

    And it’s ironic many of the NY’ers who’ve moved to New England, especially Vermont, and the many Massachusetts people who’ve moved to NH, are really fleeing the mess generations of ‘Progressive’ ideology and governments have made of NY, Mass. and other places like California and Ill. Yet many of these people are trying to recreate the same situation as the mess they left behind.

  12. Tony J says

    I find it a musing that Ratbastard blames California’s ills on progressive.

    Prop 13 (with it’s special exemptions for the rich) is hardly a progressive law, and the imbalance that it caused between the rich and the rest of us is the real cause for the crisis in California.

    (If you don’t already know, if you own a castle or mansion in California, you can pass it on to your children with no tax increase. Guess how many and what type of people in California own such things….)

  13. ratbastard says


    It’s problems are caused primarily by:

    Unfunded [and extremely generous] public-sector pension liabilities

    Bloated public sector with, elaborate and very expensive public sector salaries and benefits.

    Declining tax base(s), poor business expansion, high taxation.

    Extremely expensive and elaborate social services

    Massive influx of illegal ‘Immigrants’, almost all of whom collect elaborate and expensive social services. A parallel exodus of tax paying, working citizens.

    …You’re scraping the barrel and pretty much desperate when it comes down to screwing the ‘Rich’.

  14. says

    Wow, some curious presumptions about progressive goals, none of which have anything to do with the topic at hand–maintaining marriage equality in NH. Marriage equality via the legislative process has been a result of progressive social policy and progressive Democratic action. Legislative setbacks–if there is one in NH–will be the result of anti-gay Republican action. Gay people who voted against progressive candidates and for Republicans in the last NH election were voting their equality away.

  15. ted says

    too bad you have to vote your equality away to keep your freedom and material wealth. If the dems voted fiscally responsibly the republicans would have a harder time of it, but no, they go radical with regulation, environmentt, and spending, leaving itopen for haters to support the republicans with money for anti gay votes.

  16. Bill says

    I think gay couples’ right to marry in New Hampshire is lost. Get ready for HATEROSEXUAL-ONLY marriage laws. I really don’t see how gay people can win when haterosexuals are set out to bully gay people, we are a much smaller population and gay people don’t inform themselves let alone care about gay people’s rights.

  17. Frank says

    Well Ted, I wish those gays and their material wealth a long and happy life together, because if they keep voting they way that they do then that’s all their ever going to have.

  18. says

    “too bad you have to vote your equality away to keep your freedom and material wealth.”

    @TED: I’m not sure specifically which freedom you’re protecting by voting Republican in NH, but obviously it’s not the freedom to marry, and that’s a pretty big freedom for gay people. And the idea that the supporters of marriage equality in NH are radical leftists is ludicrous.

  19. Ryu says

    Not Exactly, Bill. Haven’t these Republicans heard what happened in California. Prop 8 is still overturned. Do they want that to happened in NH?

  20. rafi says

    Watching gay Republicans actually defend voting against their own rights is a whole new level of bizarre. Especially when they claim with a straight face that screwing immigrants and having “material wealth” is more important than basic equality.

  21. says

    Identify the donors of NOM, Cornerstone, and FRC and start a boycott campaign of their business, especially in New Hampshire. This is a crucial component of the fight against repeal of marriage equality, especially if you’re not as well-funded as the fundies.

  22. Mark0610 says

    Why isn’t anyone pointing out the fact that the Republicans are crawling into bed with known hate groups, like FRC and NOM to rollback Marriage Equality in NH. Further more were they not elected to create jobs and balance the budget, and this is the first thing they want to do is take away rights. EXPOSE them !!! Hit them hard and often.