Republicans Respond to Same-Sex Marriage Vote
Concord, NH –House and Senate Republicans held a press conference today in response to yesterday's votes on Governor Lynch's same-sex marriage proposal.
“What the governor and Democrats in the legislature are attempting to do with gay marriage sets a very dangerous precedent,” said House Republican Leader Sherm Packard (R-Londonderry). “The governor has had several months to weigh-in on this issue but instead he chose to wait until the midnight hour to demand changes to legislation that had already passed both chambers. This is not the way we do business in New Hampshire.”
“Governor Lynch sat in his office last week and said that the amended language in HB 73 had to pass in order for him to sign same-sex marriage into law,” said Senior Assistant Republican Leader, Rep. Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett). “The House spoke yesterday and refused to accede to the governor’s demands and the only responsible thing left for him to do is honor his commitment and veto the same-sex marriage legislation so that we can finally get back to the real problems facing this state, specifically the budget and fixing our economy.”
Same-sex marriage legislation was introduced in the legislature on January 8th. After five months and three votes later by full bodies of both houses, no consensus has been formed on this issue, taking the focus away from pressing budgetary matters facing the State.
“Now is the time to allow the citizens of New Hampshire to vote on a same-sex marriage referendum. Senate Republicans plan to propose a referendum, so that we can move forward on other important issues such as the budget problems,” stated Senate Minority Leader Peter Bragdon (R-Milford).
Following yesterday’s vote, Governor Lynch’s proposed changes to same-sex marriage will likely proceed to a committee of conference consisting of House and Senate conferees from both parties. “The committee of conference that will now deal with gay marriage must be fair and leadership should include members who voted on both sides of the issue,” added Rep. Packard.
“We call upon Governor John Lynch and the House and Senate Leadership to abide by the House and Senate rules during the committee of conference process. With multiple last minute amendments on this historic issue, we urge them to respect the legislative protocol,” said Senator Sharon Carson (R-Londonderry).