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N.H. Pol Drops Anti-Marriage Equality Amendment Plans

N.H. Pol Drops Anti-Marriage Equality Amendment Plans


A New Hampshire state representative has dropped his push for a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality to focus on a legislative repeal effort of the 2009 law currently underway.

"The bill to change the meaning of marriage back to what it was in statute is well on its way," Republican State Rep. David Bates told the Associated Press on Tuesday. "It would complicate the decision for legislators if there was another alternative out there."

Support for either option appears to be lacking. According to a WMUR Granite State poll last month, only 27% of residents said they want to repeal the law granting marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples; 50% of those polled were opposed to repeal.

Last week, the New Hampshire House Judiciary Committee voted to advance a bill that would repeal the law and replace equal marriage rights with a form of civil unions. The bill faces a certain veto from Gov. John Lynch, and the AP writes that marriage equality supporters believe they have enough votes to sustain a veto.

"I'm very disappointed with the actions of the legislature -- and I'm hopeful that they will not be successful," Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) told The Advocate last week in an interview. "These people represent the extreme right wing within this country. ... I don't think they represent the majority of the public."

In a Tuesday op-ed in the Concord Monitor, New Hampshire Republican party Vice Chairman JP Marzullo, who has a gay son, questioned the repeal effort by members of his party.

"I ask those who represent us in the Legislature to think about this when they are ready to vote for the bill repealing same-sex marriage," Marzullo wrote. "One out of every three teenage suicides is related to being gay and the discrimination that they face every day. They come from sound, strong and (in many cases) Christian families with the same values as your families. They are here legally, have jobs, pay taxes and, yes, even serve in our military and have made the ultimate sacrifice as soldiers by dying for freedom and liberty."

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