Anti-Gay Bigots Have Big Plans for 2012, Like Repealing Gay Marriage in NH

Although it’s almost managed to fly under the radar, it looks like New Hampshire might actually repeal the January 2010 law that legalized gay marriage. The state’s Republican-controlled House and Senate are expected to pass the bill eliminating the right to same-sex marriage. Though Democratic Governor John Lynch has promised to veto the bill, it’s still possible that both houses of the General Court will have enough votes to override the veto.

The bill isn’t expected to be voted on until after New Hampshire’s Republican primary — the second in the country — on January 10th so that the candidates have as much time as possible to “get their message out.” “This is the time for them to shine. We want them to get all the attention possible,” says House Leader D.J. Bettencourt. Despite more than half their own party wishing they’d stop talking about gay people already and their own beliefs about a small federal government, Republican presidential candidates campaigning in New Hampshire have been weighing in on the issue. Support for the bill appears to be largely split along party lines, but a recent political ad opposing the bill features New Hampshire residents from both sides of the aisle.

Proponents of the bill argue that legal partnerships will still be available for gay couples, while those who oppose it worry that the bill lacks key language that would actually make civil unions a viable option. The bill itself seems to suggest that civil unions wouldn’t be permitted under the new law; the fiscal notice reports that “The Department of State states this bill prohibits same sex marriages and civil unions.” Like California’s Prop 8, it also includes a provision that recognizes marriages that took place between January 1st, 2010 and the date that the law could take effect.

New Hampshire is currently one of six states (plus Washington, D.C.) where same-sex marriage is legal. In the nearly two years since marriage replaced civil unions, over 1,800 couples have wed, bringing in approximately $500,000 per year to the State. Ironically, voting on the bill was put on hold last session to keep the focus on the state budget. If it passes in January, the bill is estimated to cost $50,500 in “programming changes” and will incur losses in state revenue. While the state will be missing out from money that could be earned from marriages licenses, the people who will take the biggest hit are the New Hampshire citizens who need help most, as $38 of the $50 charged per license goes to domestic abuse programs.

As if that wasn’t enough, the bill also  creates a sex-differentiated age of marital consent — 14 for males and 13 for females. And it’s hard to see the language of the bill as anything but a calculated attempt to draw parallels between incest and homosexuality.

II. No woman shall marry her father, father’s brother, mother’s brother, son, brother, son’s son, daughter’s son, brother’s son, sister’s son, father’s brother’s son, mother’s brother’s son, father’s sister’s son, mother’s sister’s son, or any other woman. (<– tacked on like it’s just there as an afterthought)

Perhaps most worryingly, the bill’s only actual argument against marriage equality boils down to everyone’s (least) favorite rallying cry: Think of the children!

III. The vast majority of children are conceived by acts of passion between men and women – sometimes unintentionally. Because of this biological reality, New Hampshire has a unique, distinct, and compelling interest in promoting stable and committed marital unions between opposite-sex couples so as to increase the likelihood that children will be born to and raised by both of their natural parents. No other domestic relationship presents the same level of state interest.
IV. A child has a natural human right to the love, care and support of his or her own mother and father, whenever possible. Marriage is the primary social institution that promotes that ideal and encourages its achievement.

After all the progress that’s been made, it’s troublesome to think that our rights will be so quickly stripped away — and not with reason or compelling legal arguments, but with clumsy appeals to bigotry. As children of abusive biological parents or loving adoptive families, single mothers and fathers, and, yep, even gay parents will tell you, though opposite-sex, genetically-related families may be the norm, they are often far from ideal. Conflating social constructions of normalcy with the natural order of things is becoming a tired trick in the anti-gay playbook and I’m getting impatient waiting for it to have its day in court. A state’s interests should be in protecting it’s people and their freedoms, not in “encouraging the achievement” of an ideal that will leave hundreds of families unrecognized. We should expect, and demand, real acceptance for different types of families and a higher commitment to the right to live free or die.

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Laura is a tiny girl who wishes she were a superhero. She likes talking to her grandma on the phone and making things with her hands. Strengths include an impressive knowledge of Harry Potter, the ability to apply sociology to everything under the sun, and a knack for haggling for groceries in Spanish. Weaknesses: Chick-fil-a, her triceps, girls in glasses, and the subjunctive mood. Follow the vagabond adventures of Laura and her bike on twitter [@laurrrrita].

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25 Comments

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    The marriage cops needs to get a life and just move on!

    Onward to full civil and marriage and divorce equality rights now.
    Period. Case closed.

    Cheers, Joe Mustich, CT USA
    Marriage Officiant & Justice of the Peace

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    I love that they use the “oops, straight people get knocked up on accident a lot, better ban gay marriage” argument. Especially since my wife and I are adopting our nephew, who was conceived in just such a manner.

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    Well we’d better ban adoption while we’re at it, and the marriages of infertile couples. Oh, is that not what you meant?

    Do they think that gay people getting married will lower the straight birthrate?

    I don’t get this at all. I don’t get why they can’t just leave you guys alone (I say you guys because I don’t live in the states). There are other things to worry about. Things the various holy books place more emphasis on even!

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    My favourite bit it “Because of this biological reality, New Hampshire has a UNIQUE, DISTINCT AND COMPELLING interest in promoting stable and committed marital unions” (emphasis my own). It’s like, PREGNANCY?” THIS IS A PHENOMENON ~EXCLUSIVE TO NEW HAMPSHIRE! THIS IS HOW UNIQUE WE ARE!

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    “Think of the children.” I do, I do indeed. When I think of the children, I think of them having the option of being raised by a stable couple. That means when an alcoholic husband and neglecting wife (to the kids they already had) decide oddly to adopt a child (happened to one of my friends), I’d rather have them go to a stable same-sex couple than them. Isn’t that what you said you wanted, Republicans (more of Conservatives)? A stable home life?

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    God hates homosexuality, so that makes Him a “bigot” too. So number me among the moral majority of happy homophobes who want to see “gay marriage” banned in the New Hampshire state constitution. The majority of citizens in New Hampshire are with me!

    LET THE PEOPLE VOTE!

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    I am getting sick of this fight over marriage. Separate Church and State already! SERIOUSLY. Marriage should not be this complicated…

    I seriously think politians need to realize that there are too many religious factors controlling the fight over marriage equality. If we’re going to abide by the separation of church and state we need to stop half-assing everything and do it already.

    I also think that there should be no special benefits for married couples (i.e. lower tax rates). Why should they have to pay less taxes just because they were lucky enough to find someone who will love them for the rest of their life and the single people who can’t get screwed over more?! They already get deductions for having kids and buying houses and contributing to the economy in other ways! EQUALITY FOR ALL. It’s like being married is a special status in America and IT SHOULDN’T BE!

    I do however, believe in the legal benefits of marriage as a contract (regarding kids, property, retirement, SS benefits, healthcare, etc)… just not the federal control of it in other manners.

    p.s. I’ve been married… (and now I’m divorced…) I know what it’s like to be married and get the benefits and it’s dumb. I shouldn’t have gotten lower tax rates and whatever else just for being married… Did you know there is an awesome school tax deduction JUST FOR MARRIED COUPLE WHO FILE JOINTLY?! bullshit

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    This is a giant flaming pile of bullshit. Their “think of the children” argument is by far the weakest attempt I’ve seen in awhile, so how the HELL is this expected to pass??

    By the way, the age of marital consent is fucking creepy. 13? REALLY?? WHO THE HELL IS GETTING MARRIED AT 13???

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    “Think of the children!”

    Yes, we should keep these things from them because they will obviously turn gay by learning or interacting with gay people. Seeing a married gay couple will become detrimental to their sexual, emotional and mental health. So I agree we must keep these UNAVOIDABLE AND COMPLETELY NATURAL things from them. Instead we should promote GTA, children friendly movies where there’s heavy french kissing and what not. After all kissing and fondling is cute and violence is in human nature.

    I could go on and on with this. :\

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    I will always fail to understand why minority rights are put to the vote in modern democracies, where their existence is at the discretion of the majority (I.e: white, male, middle-class, Christian voters in the US).

    ffs, why are people so Helen Lovejoy about everybody being equal?

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