House Bill 437, the legislation which seeks to overturn New Hampshire’s marriage equality law, is expected to be voted on by state House legislators on February 8th. According to the New Hampshire Division of Vital Records more than 1,800 same-sex couples have been legally married in New Hampshire. In addition to the great quantity of newly married couples, the state has just finished revising their database to include gender neutral language, which took an enormous amount of dedication and time to complete. Now, state workers and legislators are faced with the possibility of turning back the clock, effectively negating two years worth of marriages and hard work.
The National Organization for Marriage, a notoriously anti-LGBT, anti-marriage equality organization, is the group behind the repeal bill. Republicans currently hold the majority in the Senate and House; the state Republican Party platform defines marriage as “the legal union between one man and one woman” while opposing all other types of unions. However, if the bill somehow passes through House and Senate, Governor John Lynch has pledged to veto the legislation. Gov. Lynch signed the marriage equality bill in 2009, legalizing same-sex marriage.
Supporters may feel comforted by the knowledge of veto, but the battle may not end there. Kevin Smith, a registered lobbyist for NOM, has stated that if the bill is vetoed, legislators should immediately try to override the vote. The New Hampshire House is scheduled to hear this bill on Wednesday, February 7th. During this meeting, legislators are expected to vote on the repeal bill.
Take Action: If you are a New Hampshire resident, contact your representatives and let them know that taking away the freedom to marry is unacceptable! Spread the word on your Facebook or Twitter pages by linking to Standing UP for New Hampshire Families’ action page.