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01/13/2012

White House against NH repeal attempt; basic decency agrees

by Jeremy Hooper

Screen Shot 2012-01-13 At 11.06.09 AmThe forthcoming vote to repeal New Hampshire's currently in-place marriage equality is particularly mean-spirited. In a weird way, I almost see it as worse than an anti-marriage amendment vote. Here we have a state where loving same-sex couples have been marrying for over a year, with not a one of the host of horribles that the far-right tosses at same-sex marriage coming anything close to true. And here we are at a time when every state in this nation should see a heightened need to prioritize true concerns. But instead, the New Hampshire legislature is choosing to take time out for a needlessly divisive debate that would strip same-sex couples of the word marriage and revert them to some version of civil unions? It's astounding, really.

So for the aforementioned reasons, I'm glad the Obama administration is stepping up and speaking out:

The White House, in response to a Blade inquiry about the possible vote to repeal same-sex marriage rights in New Hampshire, said Thursday night that President Obama “believes strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away.”

“While the president does not weigh in on every single action taken by legislative bodies in our country, the record is clear that the president has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples,” said White House spokesperson Shin Inouye. “The president believes strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away.”

KEEP READING: Obama opposes laws ‘designed to take rights away’ [Wash. Blade]

It is a safe assumption that Democratic Gov. John Lynch will veto any repeal that makes it through. The question is whether the far-right will then waste even more time trying to muster the votes to override repeal. Another safe assumption: They will.

I say: If we don't use every opportunity to message the sheer meanness behind this reprehensible action, then we are missing a golden opportunity. There is SO MUCH TO CHEW ON here, from the NOM crowd's newfound support for civil unions (something they never support elsewhere) to the audacity of looking these benign, non-controversial couples in the eyes and telling them they are in need of reform. A reform that, judging by the aggressive "ex-gay" advocacy of the state's leading anti-gay group, very well may extend well beyond the ring finger itself.

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