New Hampshire State Rep. Seth Cohn has
warned against repeal of New Hampshire's gay marriage law, The
New York Times reported.
In 2009, Democrats legalized gay
marriage in the state. The following year, Republicans gained
control of the House and Senate, and the law came under constant
threat of repeal.
However, not all Republicans are on
board with making New Hampshire the first state to legislatively
overturn a gay marriage law.
Rep. David Bates' plan to replace the
law with civil unions for any unmarried adults, including relatives,
stumbled out of the gate. The House shelved the bill last year after
holding a heated hearing on the issue. And Republican leaders who
promised to revisit the bill in January have yet to do so.
Bates, a Republican, told the Times
that he was willing to tinker with the bill's language in order to
win over fence-sitters.
He said he was willing to change or
remove a sentence that states, “Children can only be conceived
naturally through copulation by heterosexual couples.”
“I recognize there's things in it
that some aren't happy with,” he told the paper, “so we're going
to change it, get it to a place where as many people as possible are
comfortable with it.”
Bates' bill would also allow anyone to
refuse to recognize a civil union.
An October survey found few New
Hampshire voters (27%) in favor of repeal. And while Republicans
dominate the Legislature – making passage a near certainty –
opposition from libertarian-leaning Republicans has cast doubt on
whether there is sufficient support to override a promised veto from
Democratic Governor John Lynch.
Cohn urged colleagues to drop the
“They want this as an election
issue,” he said of the Democrats. “I think it's going to
backlash against the Republicans who, in the face of the polls, are
choosing not to believe the average person is OK with this