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Bill to Repeal Marriage Equality Fails in New Hampshire House

NhmarriageGreat news. A vote to repeal marriage equality has failed in the New Hampshire House by a vote of 211-116. HB 437 would have repealed the state's marriage equality law and replaced it with civil unions.

WMUR reports:

The Republican-controlled House voted 202-133 against the repeal. Same-sex couples have been able to marry in New Hampshire for two years.

The vote came after about two hours of debate on the bill and associated amendments, including ones which would have implemented civil unions and called for a nonbinding referendum on the issue.

Even if the bill had passed, Gov. John Lynch had pledged to veto it.

More from Phil Reese at the Washington Blade:

Several Republicans crossed the aisle to defeat the measure, including Reps. Mike Ball and Jennifer Coffey, who spoke out against the bill last week along with other advocates and Democratic lawmakers at a news conference organized by the marriage equality group Standing Up For New Hampshire Families. During a long and contentious debate on the bill in which the same amendment was brought back for reconsideration twice, strong statements were made on all sides of the issue.

“God is my judge, this legislative body is not my judge,” Rep. Cameron DeJong proclaimed. “Allow me to have this discussion between my God and me about my decisions.”

Rep. Ball compared the bill to segregation in the South, “Let’s put this dog down, like it deserves to be.”

In a surreal moment during the debate, an amendment to the bill was introduced to also bar marriage between left-handed people. That amendment failed to be considered.

NOTE: The original vote total of 202-133 (still noted on WMUR's site at the time of this posting) is incorrect, and the correct vote count is indeed 211-116.

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  1. Deep respect to the legislators and the people of New Hampshire !

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 21, 2012 6:41:17 PM

  2. Between this and the Starbucks shareholders meeting, NOM (aka Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher) are having a very bad day! boo hoo
    Yay Gay!

    Posted by: Oliver | Mar 21, 2012 6:45:37 PM

  3. Hooray for NH! Next stop: voting down that odious amendment in NC.

    Are you weeping yet, Brian?

    Posted by: Dev | Mar 21, 2012 6:47:55 PM

  4. It looks like at least 1/3 of the Republicans (possibly as high as 40%) in the NH House voted against repealing same-sex marriage. This is an amazing statistic! 33% of Republican office-holders! I don't disagree with one commenter who said above that Dems are usually more aligned (90%?) with gay rights goals, but this is a landmark moment when 33% of Republican House members in a state legislature are voting to uphold same-sex marriage. This fact needs to be emphasized to Republicans office-holders everywhere.

    Posted by: MiddleoftheRoader | Mar 21, 2012 6:58:30 PM

  5. The anti-repeal strategy was very smart. It was focused on Republicans exclusively, and featured other New Hampshire Republicans. It was couched in terms of liberty and taking rights away. The goal, basically, was to give GOPers maximum cover to vote to retain same-sex marriage. And yes, more than 100 Republican reps voted to preserve it.

    Posted by: Hampshire Ite | Mar 21, 2012 7:15:22 PM

  6. The amendment wasn't surreal - just a very, very pointed commentary.

    Posted by: Tarc | Mar 21, 2012 8:15:15 PM

  7. It reminds me of the issue we had in canada in 2005 after the cons came to power Harper wanted to re-open the debate on marriage and that was shot down with a large margin. I get the impression most people just wanted to move on. Although i would like to know what New hampshire bates has been living in if he thinks the world is ging end becasue of ssm

    Posted by: Luke | Mar 21, 2012 8:50:26 PM

  8. I was so moved when I heard the news at work today. I had been exchanging emails with one of my Representatives, who supported the bill, until 2am and before I left for work today. His reasoning, if you could consider it reason, was so troubling that I had little hope left for the Republican-controlled House to have such an outcome. This is such great news.

    Posted by: Lance | Mar 21, 2012 9:44:18 PM

  9. Many Republicans came through today for preserving equality, and those Republicans deserve praise for standing, along with the Democrats, on the right side of history. And the targeting of Republicans leading up to the vote was indeed a smart move, because that's where the repeal push was coming from.

    Of course, if Republicans had not been in the majority in NH, and if Republican extremists like Rep. Bates had not been pushing their unconstitutional bigotry to begin with, the state could have avoided all this strife. While equality prevailed in NH today, it remains that only Democratic majorities have passed gay rights legislation and only Republican majorities have threatened to take those rights away. The Republicans, especially outside on NE, still have a long way to go . . . .

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 21, 2012 9:59:12 PM

  10. This is completely off-topic but...

    How are there over 300 people in the New Hampshire assembly? California has 80. Does New Hampshire have one for every zip code? Jeez.

    Posted by: Rob | Mar 21, 2012 10:54:55 PM

  11. Here is the big news in New Hampshire, which the national media should pick up (this is accurate to within +/- 1 vote): Of the approximately 234 Republicans who voted on the final vote against repeal (the vote was 211-116 against repeal), 118 of those 234 Republicans voted against repeal (about 60 other Republicans in the House did not vote at all, either yes or no). That means that OVER 50% of the House Republicans who voted on this bill had voted to sustain same-sex marriage. Although I agree with prior posters above who said the Democrats almost certainly are more supportive of gay rights / same-sex marriage then Republicans, could anyone have ever expected that MORE THAN 50% OF THE VOTING REPUBLICANS would also support keeping same-sex marriage? This is a message that needs to be told throughout the US, especially in other Republican-controlled states --- like Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, etc. Finally, there is a glimmer of hope that at least in some states, a majority of the Republican party has begun to turn the corner on these issues, and Republican office-holders don't fear that they will be thrown out of office by voters because they vote in favor of same-sex marriage. We saw this happen in New York (where same-sex marriage passed because a few courageous Republicans 'defied' their party). But the 50% number is remarkable in New Hampshire.

    Posted by: MiddleoftheRoader | Mar 21, 2012 10:59:22 PM

  12. i HOPE that spirit spreads to Maine!

    Posted by: grego | Mar 21, 2012 11:09:09 PM

  13. @Middleoftheroad. Well said, and we need to do more to recognize, support and promote Republicans who support us with their votes. If someone could give us their e-mails, or a place to donate money to their compaigns to help in re-electing them, please pass it on. I'm not affiliated with either party, and will always support and vote for those who vote and support me and my community, regardless of party affiliation.

    Posted by: Keith | Mar 21, 2012 11:41:38 PM

  14. NOM's response:

    Read and savor the schadenfreude.

    Posted by: JohnAGJ | Mar 22, 2012 12:14:45 AM

  15. Bravo! Now, how about the anti-gay roaches crawl away and back under their rocks of ignorance.

    Posted by: darkmoonman | Mar 22, 2012 2:26:21 AM

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