CONCORD, NH- Today, Representative David Bates, R-Windham, the prime sponsor of HB 437, announced his 4th version of a proposal to repeal New Hampshire’s popular marriage equality law.
Craig Stowell, Republican co-chairman of Standing Up for New Hampshire Families said, “Representative Bates is now trying an 'everything but the kitchen sink' approach in his sputtering effort to repeal this popular law. Changing the definition and throwing in another non-binding referendum doesn't change the facts. Bates had his referendum in 2010 and cities and towns overwhelmingly rejected it.”
“This is nothing more than a desperate, last minute Hail Mary pass. The truth is voters like this law, more than 2000 couples have already married and in New Hampshire, we don't take rights away. This is nothing more than window dressing and the legislature should reject this out of hand.”
Anti-equality forces in New Hampshire continue to distort the reality of what happened in 2010 with a failed petition drive to reverse marriage equality and amend the NH Constitution.
Inside The Numbers
· 234 towns and cities in NH
· 221 towns that can have a petitioned article
· 73 towns didn’t even address the anti-equality petition put forward by “Let NH Vote” because the petition couldn’t gather a mere 25 signatures
· 80 towns actively rejected the petition
· 59 towns supported the petition
· The results of 9 other towns are unknown
Among eligible towns, 69% rejected the petition drive. Among all incorporated places, that figure is 71%.
Even among all towns which actively considered the petition, where enough signatures were gathered to force a vote, the measure was defeated in 58% of those communities.
Repealers cite this "movement" as indisputable proof that NH wants to repeal gay marriage. But the numbers don’t lie. They demonstrate what every major poll has shown for over a year: NH residents support strengthening families and they support the freedom to marry.
So it comes as no surprise that last fall, Rep. Bates dissolved the “Let NH Vote” effort and withdrew his constitutional amendment, saying to the AP, “I don't think that's the way people want it decided."