GOP Lawmakers Want to Repeal Gay Marriage in NH

But some Republicans hope to skip the contentious issue

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 15, 2012 7:16 AM CST

(Newser) – As gay marriage makes strides in states such as New Jersey and Washington, it's getting walked backward in New Hampshire. The "Live Free or Die" state became the sixth to legalize gay marriage less than three years ago, but now some of the top leaders in the Republican-controlled Legislature are considering a repeal of the law, NPR reports. "I think it's time to move back, back to the true meaning of marriage," says the author of the repeal bill during a recent Statehouse rally.

The original bill was enacted without a court order, voted in when Democrats dominated the Statehouse. But now Republicans dominate—and, though Gov. John Lynch has vowed to veto a repeal, they hold veto-proof majorities in Concord. Both sides are gearing up for a fight, with pro-gay marriage groups hiring lobbyists, raising money, and barraging on-the-fence GOP state representatives with calls, and even some Republicans who voted against gay marriage originally would rather not revisit the issue. "If you have given a right as we did, without my support, to take it back would be disenfranchising those folks who took advantage of it," says one, "and it would create a wedge."

In this Feb. 17, 2010 photo, New Hampshire Rep. Tara Sad casts her vote on the proposed constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman at the State House in Concord, NH.
In this Feb. 17, 2010 photo, New Hampshire Rep. Tara Sad casts her vote on the proposed constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman at the State House in Concord, NH.   (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter, File)
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In 2010, the voters ... said, 'Government get out of our lives.' ... So, I think the biggest concern I would have if I were a state official would be, 'I am ignoring the will of the people of New Hampshire.' - Ken Mehlman, former Republican National Committee Chairman

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