The New Hampshire House on Wednesday
voted against a bill which would have repealed the state's 2-year-old
gay marriage law.
Lawmakers voted 211-116 to kill the
Rep. David Bates' bill sought to end
gay nuptials in the state and give gay couples civil unions, instead.
Bates also called for a non-binding ballot question on the issue.
Repeal would have only taken effect on March 31, 2013 if voters
agreed in November.
The state's nearly 2,000 existing
marriages of gay couples would have remained valid under Bates' bill.
Bates, who previously disputed the
accuracy of polls showing that a majority of voters support the
current law, said his referendum would let the voters weigh in on the
“Live Free or Die is alive and well
in New Hampshire,” Marc Solomon, national campaign director for
Freedom to Marry, said in a statement. “Today's vote affirms that
Granite Staters stand strongly against stripping away freedoms from
any of their neighbors.”
Lawmakers approved and Governor John
Lynch signed the state's gay marriage law in 2009.
Gay marriage opponents suggested that
voters had expressed their disapproval the following year when
Republican regained control of both the House and Senate.
“Our opponents tried to abuse the
2010 Republican legislative sweep in New Hampshire to repeal the
popular law,” Solomon added. “What they didn't count on was the
fact that the freedom to marry is becoming a bipartisan value, as
resoundingly reflected in today's vote.”
Roughly 100 Republicans voted against