New Hampshire State Rep. David Bates is
bankrolling a campaign for legislation he introduced that would
repeal the state's 2-year-old gay marriage law, the Concord
Bates last year introduced a bill that
seeks to replace marriage for gay and lesbian couples with civil
unions. The legislation would allow any two unmarried adults,
including relatives, to enter the union and allow anyone to refuse to
recognize such unions. If approved, New Hampshire would become the
first state to legislatively overturn marriage equality.
Citing a need to focus on economic
issues, Republican leaders last year shelved the measure. And the
issue was noticeably absent from the House Republican agenda
introduced last week.
Bates is now spearheading a mail
campaign in support of his bill.
“Very soon, the New Hampshire
Legislature will vote on legislation I filed last year to restore
traditional marriage in our state,” Bates, a Republican, wrote on
official House of Representatives letterhead and state seal. “If
you believe that our marriage law should define marriage the way
we've always known it – the union of a man and a woman, then please
contact your representatives to support House Bill 437.”
Bates said the statewide mailings are
costing “not an insignificant amount.”
An October survey found few New
Hampshire voters (27%) in favor of repeal.
Roughly 2,000 gay and lesbian couples
have married since the law took effect two years ago.