New Hampshire House Majority Leader
David J. “D.J.” Bettencourt wants an effort to repeal gay
marriage delayed until 2012.
The Republican told the Associated
Press that he plans to ask the committee responsible for the repeal
bill to shelve it until next year.
Last week, Bettencourt raised the ire
of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a group that has won
repeal battles in Maine and California, when he said the issue was
not part of the House Republican agenda.
NOM responded by blanketing his
district with mailers saying he doesn't support traditional family
“This assault on our agenda has the
potential to take important focus and energy away from our focus on
the budget,” Bettencourt wrote in a letter to House Speaker William
O'Brien. “Therefore, it is my belief that the same-sex marriage
repeal must be retained in the Judiciary Committee this year so that
our full and undivided attention is focused on New Hampshire's
outstanding financial issues.”
The bill's main sponsor, Rep. David
Bates, a Republican from Windham, disagreed, saying the budget is not
the only important issue on the legislative agenda.
“As much as we're making that a
priority, there are all kinds of things going on,” Bates said.
Democratic Governor John Lynch has
vowed to veto any attempt to repeal the law but Republicans hold
veto-proof majorities in both chambers.