Saturday, July 2, 2011

New Hampshire Senate Votes to Legalize Gay Marriage

April 29, 2009 by Patrick  
Filed under State House

The Democratic controlled New Hampshire Senate passed an amended version of the controversial measure to legalize gay marriage today. The vote was 13-11 in favor of the measure.

The House passed a similar measure last month by a 186-179 vote. The two chambers must reconcile small changes between the two measures in a conference committee but this is seen as a technicality. Democratic Gov. John Lynch must decide whether he will sign or veto the bill or allow it to become law without his signature. Lynch has been silent on the matter, though he has stated in the past that he opposes same-sex marriage.

Lynch’s statement in reaction to the vote shed no light on which way he was leaning.

“I recognize that the issue of same-sex marriage is intensely passionate and personal, and raises strong emotions on all sides,” Lynch said. “I still believe the fundamental issue is about providing the same rights and protections to same-sex couples as are available to heterosexual couples. This was accomplished through the passage of the civil unions law two years ago. To achieve further real progress, the federal government would need to take action to recognize New Hampshire civil unions.”

In passing the bill, the Senate rejected the recommendation of a key legislative committee, which last week voted to kill the bill.

But undecided Democratic Senators secured concessions in the form of amendments in return for their commitments to vote in favor the bill during private meetings on Tuesday night. The key amendment would allow churches to refuse to conduct a same-sex marriage.

All state civil unions will become gay marriages in January of 2010.

New Hampshire Senator Deb Reynolds

New Hampshire Senator Deb Reynolds


Passage of the bill is seen as a major legislative victory for Democratic State Chairman Ray Buckley who lobbied aggressively for the measure during closed-door meetings over the past twenty-four hours.

The debate in the Senate was somewhat lopsided in that Republican Senators made a curious strategic decision on Tuesday night to say as little about the controversial measure as possible in order to, according to Republican Senate Leader Peter Bragdon, “preserve some decorum” and were not included in negotiations about the amendments.

Senators were subjected to a blizzard of lobbying from gay rights groups in the days leading up to today’s vote.

Lobbying efforts focused on a small handful of Democratic lawmakers who were seen as on the fence, including Senate President Sylvia Larson and Sens. Lou D’Allesandro, Betsy DeVries and Deb Reynolds. All but D’Allesandro voted in favor of the bill.

Sen. Reynolds may face criticism from conservative and Republican circles, as she voted to kill the measure in the committee and switched her vote on the Senate floor.

Sen. DeVries told constituents this weekend in voice mail recordings that she would vote against it, but she voted for it.

Every Republican member of the state Senate voted against the bill.

The measure capped off a morning of controversial decisions in the Senate. In other activity, the chamber voted to legalize the use of medical marijuana and voted against a transgendered rights bill.



* Photo by Marc Nozell

Comments

12 Responses to “New Hampshire Senate Votes to Legalize Gay Marriage”
  1. autumn says:

    cant believe someone tried to break into paris hiltons home

  2. Joe says:

    I think it`s right for the state of New Hampshire to allow Gay Marriage. Why go against it. We need to welcome the people who can have Gay Marriage in their state. And we still want to have this freedom for the people of the state of New Hampshire anyway. Don`t repeal it, just allow it.

  3. AND…Spain is looking to legalize same sex marriages as well, seems to be a western thing. Wonder how this will look in 5 years.

  4. Putney says:

    You write that “Senators were subjected to a blizzard of lobbying from gay rights groups in the days leading up to today’s vote.” You are of course ignoring the blizzard of lobbying from groups against this bill. The gay rights groups did not have a monopoly on lobbying.

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  1. [...] The Democratic controlled New Hampshire Senate passed an amended version of the controversial measure to legalize gay marriage today. The vote was 13-11 in favor of the measure. [...]

  2. [...] The Democratic controlled New Hampshire Senate passed an amended version of the controversial measure to legalize gay marriage today. The vote was 13-11 in favor of the measure. « Hate Crimes You may Leave a comment or Subscribe to Comments RSS or Trackback this entry. [...]

  3. [...] Now Hampshire reports that it’s a big win for Democratic Chairman Ray Buckley, and a New Hampshire politico describes to me “insane behind-the-scenes wrangling,” with two votes switching in the last 24 hours. [...]

  4. [...] Hampshire joined the ranks of states who are in the process of legalizing same-sex marriage!   The NH State Senate [...]

  5. [...] The state legislature has approved it. The vote [in the Senate] was 13-11 in favor of the measure. The House passed a similar measure last month by a 186-179 vote. The two chambers must reconcile small changes between the two measures in a conference committee but this is seen as a technicality. Democratic Gov. John Lynch must decide whether he will sign or veto the bill or allow it to become law without his signature. Lynch has been silent on the matter, though he has stated in the past that he opposes same-sex marriage. [...]

  6. [...] Same Sex Marriages: The vote was 13-11 in favor of the measure. The House passed a similar measure last month by a [...]

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  8. [...] like the legislation in neighboring Vermont, the New Hampshire bill preserves religious freedom: But undecided Democratic Senators secured concessions in the form of amendments in return for [...]



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