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Concord Monitor: marriage repeal and referendum are "giant steps backward"

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The Concord Monitor is right:

In 2009, the New Hampshire Legislature granted gay couples the right to get married. Tomorrow, the House is likely to vote on a measure to rescind that right. And in an attempt to gain more support, the sponsor has added a confusing new twist to the legislation: a non-binding voter referendum on the issue to be held in November before the Marriage Equality Act repeal would take effect.

Both the repeal and the referendum are giant steps backward in New Hampshire's admirable, pioneering history on this issue. Lawmakers should reject them both.

Perhaps the best recent argument against repeal comes from the February federal court ruling that invalidated California's Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage. The court found that the measure "served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationship and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples."

The same can be said of Rep. David Bates's effort to take away the rights of same-sex couples here.
Pretty clear that the intent of Bates and his anti-gay allies is 'to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in" New Hampshire. The vote in the House is expected tomorrow.

Yesterday, Standing Up for New Hampshire Families held a press conference to blast the anti-gay legislation sponsored by Bates and other GOP House members. But, not all House GOPers are on board:
Two Republican state representatives, a celebrated New Hampshire chef who recently married her partner and a popular morning talk show host all joined members of the Leadership Council of Standing Up for New Hampshire Families urging the Legislature to reject HB 437 which would repeal the popular marriage equality law enacted in 2009.

Joining about 20 members of the bipartisan leadership council which represents business, community, civic, academic and religious leaders, Greg Kretschmar, the host of "The Morning Buzz" on WGIR said the repeal effort is "not the New Hampshire way."

"I've been happily married for more than 20 years. All of us have friends and family who are gay. And they deserve the chance at happiness that my wife and I share," said Kretschmar. "I talk to probably hundreds of thousands of people in a given week or month, and I can tell you people don't want this law repealed, they don't want government meddling in their lives. HB 437 does not represent the New Hampshire I know. It represents discrimination, and taking rights away from NH citizens. That's not what this state is about."

State Representative Mike Ball who also chairs the Manchester Republican Committee said he believes the House will not produce the necessary votes to override the Governor's certain veto, largely because of the strong bipartisan opposition to repeal.
The New Hampshire House is the largest legislative body in any state. Seriously:
The House of Representatives consists of 400 members coming from 103 districts across the state, created from divisions of the state's counties. On average, each legislator represents about 3,300 residents. If the same level of representation were present in the U.S. Congress, that body would have approximately 99,000 members, according to current population estimates.
There are currently 293 GOPers in the House and 105 Democrats with 2 vacancies.

Governor John Lynch will veto the legislation. The big question is whether the homophobes will have enough support to override the veto.

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