ThinkProgress filed this report from Concord, New Hampshire.
During a recent trip to Concord, New Hampshire, to cover a Tax Day Tea Party sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, I asked attendees how the state’s 2009 same-sex marriage law has affected the state or their private lives. New Hampshire Republicans have promised to repeal the law next year and conservatives in the state have promised to turn the marriage issue into a litmus test for potential 2012 presidential contenders.
But at Friday’s event, not a single Tea Party activist told me that expanding marriage to gays and lesbians has undermined their relationships or in any way changed the state. In fact, everyone I spoke to insisted that changing the marriage law was not a priority:
- “Have I seen any changes?…No, not really.”
- “No, not really, it hasn’t really affected me. And I don’t think that this is a priority right now for most people.”
- “It’s not an issue for me. Love is love, I don’t care one way or another…we have much bigger problems to worry about than that.”
While conservative activists don’t seem riled up about gay marriage, Republican House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is still trying to milk the issue for political purposes. Yesterday, the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) of the U.S. House of Representatives filed a motion to intervene in a case challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). “This decision was necessitated by the extraordinary announcement by the current Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) declining to defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of that Act,” Boehner said in a letter to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), apparently ignoring the fact that conservative groups will continue to “litigate these ongoing cases regardless of the involvement of the House.”
Interestingly, Boehner’s decision to spend government funds opposing same-sex marriage comes as a growing number of Americans now live in areas of the country that recognize same-sex relationships. A CNN poll released today found that 51 percent of Americans think that “marriages between gay and lesbian couples should be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages.”