The sponsor of a bill that would repeal New Hampshire’s marriage equality law said on Tuesday that he would support the reinstatement of a statute that allowed civil unions for same-sex couples.
State Rep. David Bates (R-Windham) told the Associated Press that he will offer an amendment to House Bill 437 that would place a non-binding referendum on the ballot that would ask voters whether they support a proposal that would reinstate the state’s civil unions law that took effect in 2007. “From my perspective, this is not intended to be a substitute or mimic of marriage,” said Bates.
New Hampshire lawmakers are poised to vote on HB 437 later this month before the end of the current legislative session. A WMUR/University of New Hampshire Survey Center poll in early February found that 59 percent of respondents oppose the measure.
“This is nothing more than a desperate, last minute Hail Mary pass,” said Standing Up for New Hampshire Families Chair Craig Stowell, referring to Bates’ proposed amendments to HB 437. “The truth is voters like this law, more than 2000 couples have already married and in New Hampshire, we don’t take rights away. This is nothing more than window dressing and the legislature should reject this out of hand.”