NH GOP Kills Gay Marriage Repeal

The New Hampshire House, dominated 3-to-1 by Republicans, has just voted by an approximately 2-to-1 majority to kill a bill that would have repealed same-sex marriage and reinstate civil unions. Along with passage of marijuana decriminalization (by a single vote), this vote helps to demonstrate the increasingly libertarian, live-and-let-live character of the New Hampshire GOP.(*)

Meanwhile, the NH Senate just passed a bill to give businesses tax credits for funding private and out-of-district public school scholarships.

(*) I am of two minds on same-sex marriage. I support it on a personal level, as I do not see any good reason for government or anyone else to discriminate against same-sex couples. At the same time, I recognize that some people have deeply held religious objections to same-sex unions and object to having their tax dollars pay for government endorsement of these unions. For that reason, I favor getting government out of marriage licensing altogether.

10 thoughts on “NH GOP Kills Gay Marriage Repeal

  1. Jason, you seem like just the type of person who might be able to employ some of the sorts of analysis done in the U.S. Congress to the New Hampshire State House to better inform liberty activists in New Hampshire about their friends and foes. If you were to look at the House would ideology tend to demonstrate one dimension (unlikely) or two (or more?).

    1. Voteview-type stuff? http://voteview.org/ I haven’t worked with roll-call voting in the NH legislature, but someone else did using 2011 votes, and I assisted a little bit in that effort: http://forum.nhliberty.org/index.php?topic=3469.0 If you read through the whole thread, he surprisingly found just one dimension in roll-call voting. Part of the reason for that is that the 2011 session focused almost entirely on economic issues. My guess is that a 2012 analysis, especially if minor procedural votes are excluded, would yield different results.

      1. Yeah, something like Voteview. The link on 2011 is interesting. The graphic is fascinating, it seems like there’s a wide range of Republicans, including the Free Staters, and just a cluster of traditionally liberal Democrats.

  2. It really is as simple as getting government out of the marriage business. I’ve heard no coherent defense of why there is a compelling state interest to justify the government’s involvement.

    1. Government is involved in the marriage business to ensure the legal bond between father and child. Simple, true, effective, and you know what happens when there is none – the state becomes the father.

      And yes, this is already happening thanks to the same people who now advocate for marriage between homosexuals – why shouldn’t a single woman have a child? Why should it be stigmatized? We know the answer to that too – again, you want that legal bond with the father in order to ensure that the state does not become responsible.

      Once the one man/one woman wall is breached the door is open to any sort of “marriage” combination, further undermining the original purpose of marriage – to ensure a stable environment for the raising of children. Why is it a violation of my civil rights to deny my marriage to my significant other of the same sex and not a violation of my civil rights to deny my marriage to my two best friends of either sex? The Netherlands, home to the first marriage between homosexuals has already permitted a man to marry two women. The slippery slope is quite evident to anyone who wishes to see it.

      1. I guess I don’t see what’s so awful about the nether reaches of said slope.

    2. I don’t see anything “simple” about repealing government involving in an institution that has been going on for over one hundred years. Many libertarians are able to take a statist institution, be it public education or an entitlement like Social Security, and identify best steps to take even if they fall short of total reform. Vouchers, for example, or private accounts in Social Security. I don’t see why marriage equality can’t just be accepted as the best step to take in the short term for government involvement in marriage.

  3. Steve – I agree w/ you, & libertarians in the NH House have tried to do it, but without much success: https://pileusblog.wordpress.com/2011/02/15/new-hampshire-bill-would-abolish-marriage-licensing/
    Part of the complication is that the feds allot certain benefits to married couples as defined by the state. The other problem is political: opponents argued that they were “trying to take marriage away from everyone.” Silly, but the position is easily demagogued.

  4. Marriage is about legitimacy of offspring. Marriage is a religious institution. Government has no business allowing for marriage. Civil unions can and should be offered to any who wish; these are the legal contracts made possible by the marriage license. Homosexual and heterosexual couples should both have available civil unions. Marriage, however, is religious. If certain sects or denominations wish to allow same-sex marriages, and certain sects or denominations wish to disallow same-sex marriages, then those are religious decisions in which the government has no legitimate interest.

  5. I think I’m replying to at least three of you here. I’m generally sympathetic to libertarian arguments, but I’ve been convinced that the proposal of simply getting the state out of the marriage business is a lot more incoherent than it sounds. I recommend a National Review editorial which addresses it, and you might also be interested in some recent pieces by Jennifer Roback Morse:
    http://enjoymentandcontemplation.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/the-state-cant-get-out-of-the-marriage-business/

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