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04/19/2007


NH House to Vote on Repealing Marriage Equality Today

NHAs we've been reporting over the past couple of weeks, the New Hampshire House is scheduled to vote today on a hideous bill (HB 437) from Rep. David Bates that would repeal the state's marriage equality law.

The AP explains:

NhThe bill, scheduled for a House vote on Wednesday, calls for repealing gay marriage in March 2013 and replacing it with a civil unions law that had been in place in 2008 and 2009. Gay marriages occurring before the repeal took effect would still be valid, but future gay unions would be civil unions. The bill also would allow voters could weigh in through a nonbinding November ballot question.

If the House passes the repeal measure, it would go to the Senate; both houses are controlled by Republicans. Democratic Gov. John Lynch has promised to veto the bill if it reaches his desk.

A two-thirds vote of the Legislature is required to override a veto.

The Union-Leader has more:

Opponents call the proposed referendum a distraction and say poll after poll shows wide support among New Hampshire residents for retaining the current law. New Hampshire does not allow binding voter referendums, unlike other states including Massachusetts, Maine, Colorado and California. Some House members oppose the bill because of the referendum component and a floor amendment is possible today to remove it

There will be a number of other floor amendments today, including one by Rep. Seth Cohn, R-Canterbury, to prevent two left-handed people from marrying. Another would remove the state from regulating marriage while establishing domestic union contracts to provide identical benefits .

We'll be following this...


Pro-Equality Coalition Speaks Out Against Repeal of New Hampshire's Marriage Equality Law: VIDEO

Nhfamilies

Pro-equality group Standing Up for New Hampshire Families held a press conference today to speak out against Rep. David Bates' HB 437 which would roll back the state's marriage equality law, replace it with civil unions, and place a non-binding measure on the ballot, Windham Patch reports:

NHMore than 20 members of the leadership council of Standing Up for New Hampshire Families, along with family, friends, and spouses, gathered together to tell members of the press why they were involved in the group and why they believed in preserving the state’s same-sex marriage law. Attendees included many former and current Republican activists, business owners, and a former chief justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court...

...State Rep. Mike Ball, R-Manchester, the chairman of the Manchester Republican Committee, said he and others represented “a sizable amount of Republicans in the House who feel that gay marriage is a liberty issue.” Ball, who grew up in the south and attended a segregated elementary school, likened the same-sex marriage to the civil rights issues of the time period.

“This is a segregation bill,” he said.

The government should not “be micromanaging a certain group of people’s lives … that’s not acceptable,” he added.

Watch their press conference, AFTER THE JUMP...

More on the hideous Bates amendment HERE and HERE.

New Hampshire's largest newspaper, the Union Leader posted an editorial over on Sunday calling for a voter referendum, while an editorial in the Concord Monitor spoke out against it.

Continue reading "Pro-Equality Coalition Speaks Out Against Repeal of New Hampshire's Marriage Equality Law: VIDEO" »


NEWS: WTC 1, Marriage, Wikiqueer, Dharun, And A Return To LV-426

Helluvaview
Towleroad-roadicon World Trade Center 1 is about to pass a significant milestone; already has a decent view. 

Towleroad-roadicon Awesome editorial in The Concord Monitor about HB 437 and its mutant sibling, the Bates Amendment:

Before the House acts on the Bates proposal for a nonbinding referendum question, we need to get a lot more answers about the process, fiscal impact and precedents this would create. We also need to know what problem this seeks to solve, which is the question all responsible legislators must ask themselves before they vote to enact or repeal any law.

Have any voters been denied the opportunity to express their opinion on marriage equality? Has anyone been prevented from testifying on HB 437? Has there been a groundswell of public desire for a statewide referendum? Has the Marriage Equality Act of 2009 hurt any individual, family, business, nonprofit organization, city or town? Of course not.

Towleroad-roadicon LA: Man was asked "Are you gay?" Then he was attacked.

Towleroad-roadicon Visit the new gay Wiki, Wikiqueer:

... a web-based, not for profit, free-content encyclopedia and resource project, based on an openly editable model, specifically for and by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and ally communities. It is a program of The Aequalitas Project, a nonprofit organization serving as an incubator for new progressive programs. 

In a manner similar to Wikipedia, WikiQueer is written collaboratively by Internet volunteers who write without pay. Anyone with Internet access can write and make changes to WikiQueer articles (except in certain cases where editing is restricted to prevent disruption or vandalism). Users can contribute anonymously, under a pseudonym, or with their real identity, if they choose

Towleroad-roadicon Alternate Dharun Ravi juror says he'd have voted the other way:

As an alternate, the Woodbridge Township resident heard all the testimony but did not participate in deliberations. The jury, which returned its verdict Friday, was unanimous in finding Ravi guilty of all 15 charges, including invasion of privacy and anti-gay intimidation.

"Whatever (Ravi) did was stupid, but I don't think he ever had any intention of intimidating (Clementi)," Downey said. "I think that scenario could have happened 100 different ways, whether he had a straight roommate who had a girlfriend over ... there are 100 scenarios where he could have been goofing around and turning the camera on and it had nothing to do with somebody being gay."

Downey said he was "kind of up in the air" on the other charges, saying he likely would have voted to convict Ravi on charges of hindering apprehension and tampering with witnesses and evidence.

RidleyScott Towleroad-roadicon What's Tony Perkins think about the Dharun Ravi case?

Tony Perkins, president of the Christian group FRC, called the verdict "another opportunity for all Americans to speak out against the behavior of anyone who would abuse another person – especially a child – because of his/her sexuality or any other reason." However, Perkins warned in a statement that "some pro-homosexual activists would exploit the personal tragedies of these families to promote a political agenda."

Towleroad-roadicon An 82-year-old gay nude model and his $71 SoHo apartment. Some dudes have all the luck.

Towleroad-roadicon Lots of colleges are asking new students about their sexual identities.

 Towleroad-roadicon When do we die?

Towleroad-roadicon Last night at the Anaheim AMC, Sir Ridley Scott and Damon Lindelof took questions from an audience and premiered the extended trailer to Prometheus -- Ridley's long-awaited return to the universe of Alien. (Aliens and its sequels were all other people's movies.) Prometheus looks a little corny -- it looks to be loosely based on Erich von Daniken's ancient astronaut nonsense -- but man! It's nice to see that Gigerish aesthetic again. Watch the Q&A and trailer AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "NEWS: WTC 1, Marriage, Wikiqueer, Dharun, And A Return To LV-426" »


New Hampshire Lawmaker Tries To Explain Why Marriage Equality Is Bad

HopperThe New Hampshire House will vote on HB 437 this week; an ugly little piece of legislation which could repeal the state's 2009 marriage equality law. As Andy reported Wednesday, the House will also vote on something known as the "Bates House Amendment," which will put the following question on the November ballot:

Shall New Hampshire law allow civil unions for same-sex couples and define marriage as the union of one man and one woman?

Note how, at a glance, the question appears to be pro-gay rights. It's tricksy that way precisely because Rep. David Bates, the Wyndham Republican who spoke grandly last week about the importance of New Hampshirites having their say, knows that heavy majorities in his state don't want to roll back extant marriage equality laws.

Well -- HB 437 has at least one staunch ally in the New Hampshire State legislature who feels no need for that kind of lingual pussyfooting. That's Rep. Gary Hopper, a Republican from Weare. He's taken to his Facebook page to explain the importance of HB 437, and here's what he says:

HB437 The Repeal of Same Sex Marriage is going to be voted on this week.

I will be voting for it.

NH Constitution Part First “[Art.] 6. [Morality and Piety.] As morality and piety, rightly grounded on high principles, will give the best and greatest security to government, and will lay, in the hearts of men, the strongest obligations to due subjection;” 

Piety (reverence for God and Family)


The idea is simple, if people are self regulated by their own moral compass less government is needed to keep the peace.

Traditional marriage has provided the best environment to raise children but it was severely diminished in the 1970s by no-fault divorce.
That change made the focus of marriage on the individual and not the family. Since that change teen suicides have gone up 10x, the social cost has been mind boggling. In fact over 90% of the children in the care of the Department of Child Youth Services are from single parent or broken homes not to mention how many young people who have ended up in prison as a result.

The traditional family is the best place to raise children and any further erosion of that standard only destroys our country more and increases the size and scope of government.

http://family-men.com/WEB%20DOCUMENTS/EFFECTSOFDIVORCEHeritage.pdf

Rep Gary S Hopper
Weare NH

Strong families= Small government

"If we want less government, we must have stronger families, for government steps in by necessity when families have failed."
-- Jimmy Carter. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, ASTATEMENT IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, AUG.3, 1976in I THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

That's what New Hampshirites are up against. It doesn't for a moment occur to Hopper that the "morality and piety" mentioned in the NH Constitution might mean something very different to (say) a Unitarian than it does to him. And he doesn't understand that his own words --

...if people are self regulated by their own moral compass less government is needed...

-- undermine both his own position and New Hampshire's famously individualist spirit. "Self-regulated," "their own moral compass" -- gays have selves, too, and moral compasses. Hopper doesn't know this. Someone should tell him

The paper he cites as evidence of his position, by the way, isn't about marriage equality. It's a Heritage Foundation paper from the year 2000, discussing the evils of no-fault divorce. In general, its message seems to be that more marriage is good, less marriage is bad. Noted.

UPDATE: Previous typo misidentified Gary Hopper as "Gay Hopper." Corrected, gigglingly.


New Hampshire Lawmaker to Introduce Amendment Barring Two Left-Handed People from Marrying

Yesterday I reported that New Hampshire Rep. David Bates (R-Windham) is sponsoring an underhanded bill that would roll back the state's marriage equality law, replacing it with civil unions, and then allow voters to weigh in (in a "non-binding" way) about whether they like that or not.

CohnThe bill is coming up for a vote on Wednesday, and another lawmaker plans to offer an amendment "that would bar a left-handed person from marrying another left-handed person," WPTZ reports:

State Rep. Seth Cohn (pictured), a Canterbury Republican, plans to offer that amendment Wednesday when a bill sponsored by Rep. David Bates is debated. Bates, a Windham Republican, proposes to repeal the gay marriage law in effect since 2010 and replace it with civil unions for same-sex couples.

Cohn was a co-sponsor last year on a bill that would have replaced marriage for heterosexual and same-sex couples with domestic unions. The House killed the bill which would have established marriage as a cultural and individual right apart from governmental definition.


New Hampshire Lawmaker Attempts to Repeal Marriage Equality by Reinstating Civil Union Law

Presser_bates

New Hampshire Rep. David Bates (R-Windham) is sponsoring an underhanded bill that would roll back the state's marriage equality law, replacing it with civil unions, and then allow voters to weigh in (in a "non-binding" way) about whether they like that or not.

Bates' measure would allow same-sex couples already married to stay married.

Watch Bates' press conference, AFTER THE JUMP...

BatesSaid Bates to the Concord Monitor:

"I'm ready to accept the will of the people. Now let's see if those on the other side of this debate will do the same. Or are the homosexual activists only interested in pushing through their own agenda, without regard for the will of the people of this state?"

At Think Progress LGBT, Zack Ford explains how Bates' new amendment would play out:

The legislature would vote to repeal marriage equality and implement the civil unions law as it was passed in 2007, a change that would not take effect until March 31, 2013. This would require a super majority, because Gov. John Lynch (D) has promised to veto any bill that takes rights away from same-sex couples.

In the meantime, voters would have the opportunity to respond to a non-binding question as to whether they agree with the decision. The vote would have no legal impact, but would indicate to lawmakers essentially whether voters like the repeal or not.

If voters approve the repeal, it proceeds as planned next March. If they reject it — and polls show a strong majority opposes Bates’ bill — then the legislature would have to act again before March to overturn its own repeal, but would be under no obligation to do so.

NHThe question as it would appear on the ballot conveniently does not address marriage: "Shall New Hampshire law allow civil unions for same-sex couples and define marriage as the union of one man and one woman?"

Bates' plan, of course, would let him ignore the results if they don't go his way and proceed with the repeal.

The Concord Monitor explains the 'non-binding question':

Bates's bill, which is set for a vote next Wednesday, now includes a question to be put before New Hampshire voters on the November ballot: "Shall New Hampshire law allow civil unions for same-sex couples and define marriage as the union of one man and one woman?"

"In November, we can find out, unequivocally, once and for all, what the citizens of New Hampshire believe and what they want regarding marriage and civil unions in our state," Bates said. "There will be no more guessing, no more arguing or debating over dueling polls, just the actual voice of the people telling us what their will is on this issue."

Watch Bates' press conference, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "New Hampshire Lawmaker Attempts to Repeal Marriage Equality by Reinstating Civil Union Law" »


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