Yesterday, New Hampshire’s House Judiciary Committee held an eight-hour hearing to consider three proposals to rescind the state’s 2009 same-sex marriage law. More than 600 people attended the marathon session, which ran from 10:30 A.M. to 6:30 P.M., and at which supporters of the law far outnumbered its detractors. The committee heard from dozens of happily married same-sex couples, their straight allies and a surprising number of young people, some of whom took the day off from school to attend the hearings.
Below is a video compilation of some of the most outrageous claims levied by opponents of the measure, along with a musical surprise from a supporter of marriage equality:
- REP. ALFRED BALDASARO: “The same thing happened in Canada, where they passed gay marriage. Now they’re fighting in the courts to get 3 husbands, 3 wives.”
- SEN. FENTON GROEN: “[Homosexuality] will significantly increase their risk of serious diseases and can be expected to significantly shorten their lives.”
- HOWARD KAUFMAN: “A future redefinition of marriage that permits polygamy would facilitate the introduction an aspect of Sharia or Islamic law that permits a man to have up to four wives.”
The committee is considering three separate bills: HB 437 would rescind same-sex marriage, HB 443 would define marriage as between one man and one woman, and HB 569, would establish domestic unions.
House Republican Leader D.J. Bettencourt asked the committee to hold the bills until next year so lawmakers can focus on fiscal issues and yesterday Rep. David Bates, who had pushed for a vote this year, agreed. “I have been assured the effort to restore traditional marriage will have the full support of House leadership when the time comes to take it up next year.” Democratic Gov. John Lynch is prepared to veto a repeal bill, but “Republicans hold supermajorities in both the House and Senate which would be enough to override a veto.”
Joe Sudbay points out:
Keep in mind that a recent University of New Hampshire poll found 62% of New Hampshire voters are opposed to repealing the marriage law. The pollster, Andrew Smith, who directs the UNH Survey Center, called that “powerful resistance.” On the other hand, 29% of voters support repeal. But, digging deeper, the polls shows that almost half of those voters are ambivalent: 13% favor of respondents favor repeal, but wouldn’t be upset if marriage is not repealed. Then, there are the five percent of NH voters who favor repeal who would be “very upset” if the marriage law is not repealed.