Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Gay Marriage, New Hampshire: Not Going Away

When the GOP took control of the New Hampshire legislature last November, social conservatives were jubilant it would enable them to reverse the legal recognition now given to same-sex couples. It is unlikely that they will have their hopes realized.  Republican leadership deliberately stalled on the issue, putting it onto the back burner until next year. 

Research out last week, replicating the results of an earlier poll in February, shows why. By a two-to-one majority, New Hampshire voters do not want to repeal the existing marriage equality law. Not even Republican voters have a simple majority to support repeal.  With that level of public opposition, it is unlikely that if it ever came up for a vote in the legislature, the only possible result will be an embarrassing defeat. 

In New Hampshire, marriage equality is here to stay.

A WMUR Granite State Poll issued last week found 62 percent of New Hampshire adults oppose the law’s repeal, 29 percent support repeal and 10 percent don’t know what they think or have have no opinion. Almost as interesting is that 47 percent of the respondents said the two-year-old law has had no impact on the state and 38 percent said it’s had only a minor impact. Just a scant 8 percent said the law has had a major impact on the state.
Even if you count only Republicans, support for repeal of the law falls short of a majority – 45 percent.
These numbers are essentially identical to the ones registered when the same questions were asked of New Hampshire adults in February.
There can be no argument. A clear majority of New Hampshire citizens do not want the same-sex marriage law repealed, period. Whatever voters thought were the transgressions of Democrats when they stepped into the voting booth a year ago, same sex marriage wasn’t one of them."
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