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New Hampshire Marriage Equality Repeal Vote Delayed Until at Least February

A vote on a bill that would repeal marriage equality that was expected this week has been delayed until at least February, the Eagle Tribune reports:

NhRepublican House leaders have delayed the vote on gay marriage, House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt, R-Salem, said yesterday.

"The legislation will not be considered for a floor vote until February," Bettencourt said in an email.

"We must deal with some critical financial and economic-related legislation first, as well as legislative redistricting, prior to any discussion of gay marriage," he said. "It's critical to keep to keep legislative priorities in their proper order."

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  1. Marriage equality in New Hampshire gets a reprieve for a few more weeks.
    Maybe this will give New Hampshire gay citizens and activists both gay and straight more time to persuade more NH legislators that repealing NH marriage equality is not in the best interests of many gay New Hampshire citizens and not in the best interests in the state of New Hampshire itself as well.

    Posted by: Mousemess | Jan 18, 2012 10:28:48 AM


  2. I'm hoping this indicates, as an equality supporting rep suggests, that they don't have enough votes to override the governor's veto. It would be excellent if the repeal extremists can't even come close. In any event, this gives people in NH more time to rally for equality. As we know from VT, reps actually do listen to their constituents. If constituents overwhelmingly reject repeal attempts, the NOM types and Repub extremists in the legislature will be forced to give up. (Of course, not electing Republicans in the first place would have been the best answer.)

    Posted by: Ernie | Jan 18, 2012 11:11:09 AM


  3. Wow...basic human rights being voted away. I wonder how the outcome of the Prop 8 trial will affect this crap.

    Posted by: woodroad34d | Jan 18, 2012 11:50:11 AM


  4. Either they don't yet have the votes to overide Lynch's veto or Bettencourt knows they actually do have the votes and wants to put this off as long as possible.

    Bettencourt has never been a fan of this bill -- he tried to stall such a bill coming up all throughout last year. I think he'd rather see it die by the Governor's veto so at least he can say to the Christian fanatics "hey, we tried!"

    Would love to hear from the LGBT groups in New Hampshire about what the next step is. Eventually they will have to produce some sort of roll call or a list of the Republican undecideds. Dare I say that NOM may actually produce one first and we'll have to rely on their list? I wouldn't be surprised if they already have one -- the NH LGBT groups have been really slow to release information.

    I know that the HRC only started getting involved in this recently -- really too late but the fact that the vote is being postponed probably helps us by giving us more time.

    If you know anyone who lives or has a residence in New Hampshire, please have them reach out to their representative. They don't take kindly to out of staters calling in but hearing from actual NH residents really can sway the difference.

    What would also being effective? Some ads on radio and TV there. "How would you like it if the government came in and destroyed your marriage and your family?" -- something along those lines that actually could influence more conservative voters (rather than the peaceful "everyone should be treated equally" ads that always lead us to failure).

    Posted by: Jollysocks | Jan 18, 2012 1:25:47 PM


  5. Jollysocks:

    "Eventually they will have to produce some sort of roll call or a list of the Republican undecideds."

    This is doubtful. The New Hampshire House has 400 members. Detailed tracking of the sort you mentioned is untenable, given the numbers. At any day, too, up to 60 members of the House may not show up for a session.

    "the NH LGBT groups have been really slow to release information."

    "I know that the HRC only started getting involved in this recently -- really too late but the fact that the vote is being postponed probably helps us by giving us more time."

    There has been a group working on this issue since the bill first came up in early 2011. It is called Standing Up for New Hampshire Families (http://standingupfornhfamilies.org/) and it has done an amazing job with lining up a list of hundreds of NH politicians and businesspeople who oppose repeal.

    It has been doing phone banks and legislative outreach, as well as running statewide television and radio ads. It has the backing of the national freedom to marry group, so there have been resources. NOM has so far hired a couple of lobbyists but has not been especially visible.

    Please do not sell NH short on this. Our folks overwhelmingly support marriage equality -- some 63 percent of state residents -- and there are many Republicans in the State House who support us. We must keep speaking up and speaking out.


    Posted by: HampshireIte | Jan 18, 2012 5:29:00 PM


  6. I highly doubt that they have the votes to override the veto. Most likely this is due to a lack of interest.

    There are still 26 Republican representatives who voted against repeal in 2010 still in office. In addition, several new ones have come out in opposition to repeal. We need 33 to vote no to kill the veto override.

    Posted by: Stefan | Jan 18, 2012 11:42:25 PM


  7. Stefan: We may not even need that many. Or we may need more.

    The complicating factor is this. Overriding a veto in NH takes a two-thirds vote from _the reps who show up_ not the total number of reps.

    In other words, you need 267 votes to override if every single rep of the 400 is present. But that never happens because there are so many reps (a seat or two tends to be vacant because of death, for example). So really, you need two-thirds of 365, or however many reps are present on whatever day.

    In a case like that (350 total present members), assuming all the pro-equality reps show up, you would only need 117 to sustain the veto.

    On the other hand, if an override vote is called when a lot of anti-equality reps are present, the story might be different. It will be important for pro-equality reps to make the sacrifice to be on hand during every session when this comes up.

    But that's all quite technical. Your general point is spot on.

    Posted by: HampshireIte | Jan 19, 2012 1:00:25 AM


  8. Exactly. I will not be surprised that when (if) this is voted on, many Republicans will simply not show up for the vote, so as not to piss off either base too badly. They know this is very unpopular with New Hampshire residents.

    Posted by: Stefan | Jan 19, 2012 3:12:55 AM


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