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New Hampshire: analysis and next steps

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In the wake of yesterday's incredibly close, and incredibly disappointing/frustrating, New Hampshire state House vote on marriage equality, Blue Hampshire is, of course, an excellent resource.

Specifically:

Analysis of vote, showing how many Reps changed their votes (and in what directions). The new "religious protection" language does not seem to have had a major effect in either the no-to-yes direction nor the yes-to-no direction. The changes to and from "not voting" made a much bigger difference. For example, twelve Democratic Reps who voted Yes on the last vote did not vote on this one. On the other hand, twenty-two Reps who didn't vote last time (including one Republican) voted Yes this time.

One thing I like about Blue Hampshire is that members of the legislature sometimes show up and post there. Today, there's a comment from Rep. John DeJoie, who despite being a marriage equality supporter, had to take his son to the hospital at the time of the vote. (He had been expecting/hoping that the vote would be in the morning instead of in the afternoon.) Hard to fault that as a reason for missing the vote.

Note that in NH, the 400 members of House each get paid $200 per two-year term (as I understand it)—it's a "citizen legislature," and apparently legislators miss votes fairly often.

A few other worthwhile posts:

  • A Little Courage, calling on all the legislators and the governor to show courage in making marriage equality in NH a reality.
  • A hopeful note: a spokesperson for Gov. Lynch has stated that Lynch wants the principles he outlined to be followed in the bill, rather than insisting on the exact language. I don't know whether the language of the amendment was truly an issue; I kinda suspect that the complaints about it provided cover and an excuse for Reps who were uncomfortable voting for marriage equality. But at least the language may be somewhat flexible.
  • Marriage Equality In Two More Weeks: We Can Do This, an explanation of what's happening next procedurally by the tireless Rep. Jim Splaine, who shows no sign of the disappointment I imagine he must be feeling. As he notes, part of the task now is to ask those who did not say yes to do so. Unfortunately, I don't know that there's much we out-of-staters can do at this point, but one thing we can do is donate to New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition, which I gather has been doing a good job.

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I sent an email yesterday after reading this. If anybody wants the list of emails they can email me - it's way too long to reproduce here!


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