Friday, April 24, 2009

New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee Rejects Marriage Equality

The Granite State's Senate Judiciary Committee proposed the senate kill both the marriage equality and transgender anti-discrimination bills that passed the house last month.

Though this recommendation is not binding to the full senate, it is unlikely either bill will see the floor for a vote next week.

The vote split 3-2 on the gay marriage bill with Democrat Chairman Deborah Reynolds of Plymouth shifting the vote by joining Republicans Bob Letourneau of Derry and Sheila Roberge of Bedford in voting to kill it. Democrats Bette Lasky of Nashua and Matthew Houde of Plainfield opposed the move.

The committee then voted 5-0 to recommend that the full Senate kill the transgender rights bill. The bill adds the term "gender identify or expression" to state anti-discrimination and hate crimes laws.

Three hours of public hearing testimony earlier this month didn't sway the opponents with Letourneau stating that the state's adoption last year of a law allowing civil unions was adequate.

"Marriage is something between a man and a woman and has been for time immemorial," he said.

Reynolds, who sided with the Republicans, said she "struggled" with the issue, but said the state "made great strides" with passage of the civil unions law.

On Tuesday, former governor and current state Republican party chairman John Sununu referred to both bills as "garbage."

Read more at the Union Leader. And for a more local, personal level, read Blue Hampshire.

Contact New Hampshire Senators and ask them to push for a vote on the bills! The Senate Judiciary Committee only gave a proposal to the senate to rejects the bills. The senators can still vote themselves because the committee cannot keep the bill from the floor for a vote.

Sign the HRC action letter!

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