The New Hampshire House is set to vote
next week on a bill which would repeal the state's 2-year-old gay
Rep. David Bates' bill would end gay
nuptials in the state and give gay couples civil unions, instead.
Bates, a Republican, said on Tuesday that he would introduce an
amendment to the bill calling for a non-binding ballot question on
the issue. Repeal would only take effect on March 31, 2013 if voters
agreed in November, he said.
Bates, who has 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 issue.
“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,” Bates told
Republican Rep. Seth Cohn is also
expected to introduce an amendment to the bill. Cohn's amendment
would bar a left-handed person from marrying another left-handed
While Republicans control the House
with a large majority, they are not united in their opposition to
repealing the gay marriage law. In fact, a measure this week which
sought to allow business owners to withhold wedding-related goods and
services to gay couples if they believe it would violate their
conscience or religious faith was overwhelmingly
rejected with a 246-85 vote. With 105 Democrats in the House, at
least 141 Republicans voted to kill the bill, which suggests that the
upcoming vote could be much closer than previously thought.