Raucous public hearing on NH marriage bill
New Hampshire is the next likely state where same-sex marriage could become a legal reality.
Lawmakers there frequently compare themselves to their counterparts in Vermont so, earlier this month, when the Green State approved marriage licenses for same-sex couples, it was no surprise to find the Granite State close on its heels.
The New Hampshire legislature could take its final vote next week. And the Senate Judiciary Committee took testimony this week, getting an earful from both supporters and opponents of the legislation.
Protesters rallied outside the Capitol building in Concord starting at 7:30 Wednesday morning, becoming raucous at times. State Representative Jim Splaine, who is heading up support for the measure, said a five-member Senate Judiciary Committee took testimony from both sides in its daylong hearing -a hearing he said was marked with occasional booing, laughing, cheering.
New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson was among those speaking for the bill both inside and outside the state capitol Wednesday. Robinson urged senators to do the “right thing,” even it if does cost them re-election.
Splaine said activists are hopeful the three Democrats on the Committee will vote for the measure and send it to the Senate floor as early as next week.
— Lisa Keen, Keen News Service