This week I wrote my On Our Radar column about the battle of wills in New Hampshire. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is pressuring the Republicans, who have veto-proof majorities in both the NH House and Senate, to rescind the 2009 law that legalized same-sex marriages in that state. Resisting any change are local activists from the group Standing up for Families, who have organized business leaders and clergy, the very people Republicans rely on at election time, to pressure legislators to maintain the status quo. It looks today like Standing Up for Families has won at least the first round in that battle.
According to the Boston Globe, after hours of meetings with the Republican caucus, House Leader DJ Bettencourt has issued their 2012 legislative agenda and repealing marriage equality is NOT on it. It is an act of courage for Bettencourt, since last time NOM retaliated against him personally by direct mail to his constituents. The Majority Leader said the legislature would concentrate on economic and employment issues.
That primal scream you are hearing belongs to NOM.
If this were a tennis match all heads just swung to watch the rainbow colored ball land in NOM’s court. NH Republicans made the political calculation that they needed the local business leaders and the local clergy more than they needed to assuage NOM. Well played, Standing Up for NH Families. But NOM is well known for playing hardball. I doubt they go quietly into that good night.
For the moment the1800 married same-sex couples are safe. No vote is scheduled. We’ll keep you updated on NOM’s response. And may I add, Go New Hampshire!