(Jim Cole / Associated Press…)
Reporting from Washington — The New Hampshire House of Representatives has rejected a bill to repeal the state’s 2-year-old law allowing same-sex marriage, dealing a blow to activists who had hoped to make the Legislature the first in the country to repeal a gay marriage law.
Lawmakers in the House voted 211 to 116 against the bill, which would have repealed gay marriage and replaced it with a preexisting civil unions law, according to the Associated Press. It also would have made the issue a nonbinding question on the November ballot.
Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat, had promised to veto the bill if it reached his desk, but opponents of gay marriage had hoped to win the two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate to override the veto. Both chambers are controlled by Republicans.
Both the civil unions law and the gay marriage law that replaced it were enacted by Democratic-controlled Legislatures and signed into law by Lynch.
Gay marriage opponents had felt emboldened after Republicans swept into power in the 2010 midterm elections.
Marc Solomon, campaign director at Freedom to Marry, a gay marriage advocacy group, said proponents of the bill “tried to abuse” the 2010 victory by attempting to repeal the gay marriage law.
“We are grateful to Gov. John Lynch for his principled defense of the freedom to marry law, and to the many lawmakers – both Republican and Democrat – who listened carefully to their constituents and recognized that New Hampshire is stronger when all committed couples can share in the freedom to marry.”
New Hampshire House kills repeal of gay marriage law