Hampshire's year-old gay marriage law is under threat of being
The Republican wave that hit much of
the nation on November 2 swamped the New Hampshire Legislature,
giving the GOP veto-proof majorities in both houses, and several GOP
lawmakers are ready to end the gay marriage law legalized by
Lawmakers are considering two bills,
One would revert marriage to civil unions for gay and lesbian
couples. A second bill seeks to place an amendment defining marriage
as a heterosexual union in the New Hampshire Constitution.
The leaders of the House and Senate
denied that ending the state's gay marriage law is a top priority,
but other lawmakers sounded eager to act.
“I think we have the votes (to
repeal),” Rep. Leo Pepino, a Manchester Republican, recently said.
“We have a lot of really good conservatives and a good conservative
doesn't believe in gay marriage. … It's a matter of ethics.”
And while Democratic Governor John
Lynch, who signed the bill into law, won re-election, the new GOP
super majority leaves him out of the debate.
The National Organization for Marriage
(NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, had
targeted Lynch for ouster in
a $425,000 television and radio campaign that focused on the
governor's decision to sign the gay marriage bill into law.
“In New Hampshire, we flipped the
state legislature,” Brian Brown, the group's president, said in a
post-election blog post. “And not only flipped it, but it now
looks like we have veto proof majorities in both legislative houses.”
“We will now fight for a vote on a
constitutional amendment and a repeal of same-sex marriage in New
Hampshire. And we look forward to the legislature overriding any
veto that John Lynch might attempt.”
Some social conservatives who oppose
the law, however, have warned the party not to make repeal a
“I've cautioned a number of newly
elected officials not to make social issues the number-one priority
because they'll end up doing what the Democratic legislators did,
over-play their hand,” Kevin Smith, president of Cornerstone
Action, told the Union Leader.