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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

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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" »


Fred Karger's Campaign Site Was Shut Down Because It Criticized LDS Church

MormonTempleSo claimed Mr. Karger, the gay Republican candidate for the presidency, in an email to supporters on Friday. From the letter:

Terra Eclipse based in Aptos, California ... developed and designed my web site 21 months ago and had hosted it ever since. I spent tens of thousands of dollars with this company which specializes in Republican campaign web sites. So you can imagine my shock, when just two days before Christmas, Terra Eclipse sent me a terse email saying that it was dropping me in two weeks - just five days before the all-important New Hampshire Primary. What? Why?

Karger's pretty sure he knows why. In his email, he explains his various scrapes with the LDS Church over the years -- his prosecution of their secretive and illegal support of Prop 8; his launch of the website Top10CraziestMormonBeliefs.com -- and whips out this letter, from Terra Eclipse:

While your campaign has every right to express views using tactics of your own choosing, our company also has the right to freely associate with our clients. In light of these actions, which not only appear to be completely irrelevant to a campaign for President of the United States, but also constitute an insult to and mockery of individuals of particular faiths, we are exercising our right to terminate your NetBoots account and disassociate with your campaign, as reserved in our Terms of Service (attached).

I invite you to contact our attorneys should you wish to pursue the matter further.

I wonder if Terra Eclipse would have been equally scandalized if another of their Republican clients used their servers to "insult" and "mock" LGBTs.

Anyway: In his email, Mr. Karger says he might just contact Terra Eclipse's attorneys, and he probably isn't bluffing -- Karger's always got a lawyer on speed-dial. In the meantime, he says he wants "the world to know" about Terra Eclipse's censorship, and he intends to spread the word among California Republicans as they gather for their semi-annual conclave in San Francisco this weekend.


Towleroad Guide to the Tube #1065

KISS IT FORWARD: A PSA from Marriage Equality USA and Revenge Is that celebrates all love being equal.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: A recent rally by anti-gay Christianist opponents of marriage equality got an earful from a rightfully furious angry lesbian. You go girl.

HOMOSEXUALIZED: NOM rabbi Yehuda Levin lashes out at Bill O'Reilly for defending Ellen DeGeneres against One Million Moms.

ROMANIA: Threading the needle.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.


Lawmaker Leading Charge Against Marriage Equality to Rally Supporters in New Hampshire Today: VIDEO

Rep. David Bates, (R-Windham), the lawmaker leading the charge to repeal New Hampshire's marriage equality law, has organized a rally today on the state house steps, the Union Leader reports:

Bates“This is a way to demonstrate support for traditional marriage,” Bates said on Monday. “Supporters of the law say a majority support the law. I firmly don’t believe that’s true.”

The rally is also being backed by Cornerstone-Action, one of the main groups seeking to overturn the same-sex marriage law. In an effort to counter Bates’ message, Stand Up for New Hampshire Families, the organization recently formed to fight the repeal effort, plans to have its own speakers at the State House.

The rallies sprang up over hearsay:

There was some confusion on Monday over which group was countering the other. Bates said that he had organized the rally to respond to one he thought was going to be held by Stand Up for New Hampshire Families, which in turn insisted it had no plans to hold an event.

The dueling rallies come as both sides in the debate maneuver ahead of a vote on the repeal bill, HB 437. No vote is scheduled for this week, but Cornerstone said in an email about the rally that one could come as soon as Feb. 15. Bates said he is crafting an amendment designed to win the widest margin of support.

Watch Bates testify and do a Q&A about his repeal bill in February 2011, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Lawmaker Leading Charge Against Marriage Equality to Rally Supporters in New Hampshire Today: VIDEO" »


Rep. Jim Splaine Defends Equality

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In an excellent editorial published today in the Sea Coast Online, gay New Hampshire State Rep. Jim Splaine demolishes one of the most common attacks on marriage equality mounted by bigots in his home state: That marriage equality was forced upon New Hampshire by shadowy outside operators, possibly from San Francisco:

3,722 people who call New Hampshire "home" — our neighbors and friends, co-workers and family members — [are] making a commitment to share their love and caring for one another in marriage. A pretty decent thing for the "Live Free or Die" state.

But there are those who want to go backward. They want to repeal marriage. And there's a myth being promoted by those who oppose marriage equality. They say it was "brought" or "pushed onto" New Hampshire by out-of-state interests. They know better, but in their advertising they feel that such an untruth (I could call it worse) is persuasive.

I can attest first-hand to the fact that no one from out-of-state — no organization or individual — asked me to introduce either the civil unions bill in 2007 or gay marriage in 2009. Nor did any organization, group or political party within the state. Those of us who love New Hampshire and wanted to stop discrimination in marriage fought for change.

New Hampshire's Republican-controlled state legislature will meet on February 17th to discuss House Bill 437, which would repeal marriage equality and invalidate the same-sex unions that have been sanctified in the state since January 1st, 2010. HB 437 isn't a matter of political expedience -- polls suggest that well over half of all New Hampshirites support equality, and that only about a fifth strongly oppose it. (Some New Hampshire legislators have gone to extraordinary lengths to alter this political reality, but so far to no avail.) Rather, HB 437 is the result of a genuine, gut-level dislike for the LGBT community, as may be divined from the image above, which is featured prominently at nhmarriage.org.

There are reasons to hope that personal repugnance will be an insufficient political motivator in 2012. The New Hampshire Republican party is itself divided on the issue of marriage equality, thanks to the state party's strong libertarian bent. Unless they pull together a veto-proof majority, Gov. John Lynch pleadges to kill any anti-marriage legislation to cross his desk.


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