Republicans inside the New Hampshire
House and outside played a key role in Wednesday's defeat of a bill
which sought to repeal the state's 2-year-old gay marriage law.
Roughly 100 Republican House members
voted against the measure sponsored by GOP colleague David Bates.
Bates, who introduced the measure last
year and has since struggled to build support for it in the House,
where Republicans outnumber Democrats by three to one, told The
New York Times that he had not expected such a decisive
defeat. “It really became sort of a circus. The majority of the
opposition there was essentially people who are very
One of those libertarian-minded
Republicans, Rep. Seth Cohn, introduced an amendment to Bates' bill
which sought to bar left-handed persons from marrying each other just to
make a point on the issue.
According to Marc Solomon, national
campaign director for Freedom to Marry, the campaign to defeat the
bill was largely bankrolled by Elliot Management Corp. CEO Paul
Singer, a Republican, who gave $250,000 to the cause.
“That played a huge role in our
ability to pull off a really solid campaign,” Solomon said.
And the group New
Hampshire Republicans for Freedom and Equality pledged $100,000
to support GOP lawmakers who voted against the measure.
Opponents vowed to return next year,
when Governor John Lynch, who pledged to veto the bill, is no longer
in office, and threatened to hold accountable lawmakers who voted
“This is a sad day for New Hampshire
families who in 2010 had elected what they thought was a solid
pro-marriage majority. They were once again let down by politicians
who promised them one thing and then left them at the altar when the
vote was on the line,” Brian Brown, president of the National
Organization for Marriage (NOM), said in a statement. “These
legislators will be held accountable.”