Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New Hampshire House Preserves Marriage Equality, 201-135

More good news from my home state...about an hour ago, the New Hampshire House rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have prohibited gay marriage in New Hampshire. CACR 28 would have defined marriage by restricting it to a man and a woman.

As a Constitutional Amendment, it required a 60% margin in the legislature...and it did not even gain 50%. It was rejected 201-135, a big change from last fall when Marriage Equality squeaked through the state legislature by less than a dozen votes. While this may show significant movement in the right direction, the cheering is a little dampened by the fact that 60 legislators did not show up to vote. If they were all "anti" Marriage Equality, then there has really been very little movement at all. We will need to see who was absent before we draw too many conclusions. [UPDATE: 40 republicans supported Marriage Equality this time around, suggesting an actual shift...]

Had this passed, it would have gone on to a vote by the public, which was the main argument that CACR28's supporters kept making: that 'the people' ought to be able to vote on marriage. It apparently never occured to these legislators that 'the people' dont get to vote on "rights:" we never subject questions of free speech, or Miranda Rights, or gun ownership, to majoritarian votes, because majoritarianism is the antithesis of liberty and rights.

A concurrent effort to ask Town Meetings to adopt a "let the people vote resolution" effort is failing miserably. Even in reliably Republican Towns, such as Rindge, town meeting voters are removing and rejecting Town Meeting Warrant items seeking a public vote on Marriage Equality. Winchester (my home town), Rye, and Deerfield have all rejected it in recent days.

A second vote to repeal the bill that established Marriage Equality last fall failed by an even bigger margin: 210-109.

2 comments:

THE said...

This was great news - but unfortunately the ideologues have promised to be back.

Susan

Thom S. said...

Yeah, but George Wallace standing in the schoolhouse door shouting, "segregation, now, segregation toorrow, segregation forever" didnt make it so.The ideolgues are like drowning men using their last gasp of energy to flail around....