October 26, 2011

New Hampshire Judiciary Committee Votes To Take Away Marriage Rights


Concord, New Hamphire: The House Judiciary Committee passed HB437, to repeal gay marriage, by a vote of 11-6. The bill allows marriages that have already occurred to remain, and creates a new civil union law for same sex couples. The legislation also suspends any legal protections or anti-discrimination laws that exist for same sex couples, so that businesses, churches, and schools, and institutions, can refuse to recognize a gay marriage or civil union, and anyone who is being discriminated against has no legal recourse or remedy.

Rep. Lucy Weber, D-Walpole, said the bill makes a mess of inheritance and probate laws, and insults not only the gay population, but anyone who falls outside a narrow range of marital behavior.

“This is the most mean-minded piece of legislation to come before me since I have been sitting in this House,” she said, describing it as a “masterpiece of muddled drafting.”

The bill is written to allow anyone, including brothers and sisters, to enter into civil unions. Critics said that seems to violate state incest laws, but Bates said they are wrong. The bill does not negate other existing laws, he said, adding, “there is no reason for us to speculate on the sexual nature of that relationship.”

The important point, he said, is that the bill restores marriage in its traditional form and provides an option to those who do not want to marry or cannot under the law.

This is one cruel piece of legislation, and at odds with protecting a minority against the tyranny of a majority.

The Senate will consider the bill in January 2012.

Governor John Lynch is a Democrat, who will hopefully veto this legislation.

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