Maine voters repealed that state’s law months after lawmakers approved it in 2009. An effort in Rhode Island to approve gay marriage faces an uncertain future, despite a newly elected gay speaker of the house and a governor who support the measure.
Now, conservatives in the Republican-controlled State House in New Hampshire are looking to roll back the 2009 legislative vote. Yesterday, legislators heard testimony at a heavily attended hearing on two bills that would repeal same-sex marriage. The sponsors of the bills recommended that the House not act on them until next year, citing the need to focus on the economy. But Republican House leaders promised their support for repeal, and conservatives vowed to make gay marriage a major issue in the state’s first-in-the-nation primary.
“We will have a pledge sheet for candidates saying whether they support marriage being only between a man and a woman,’’ said Kevin Smith, executive director of Cornerstone Action, a conservative think tank based in New Hampshire. “We will ask all the candidates to sign that pledge, and I think it will most certainly make news if some of them won’t.’’
Some opponents said that Massachusetts, which in 2004 became the first state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage, stands as an example of the problems gay marriage can create.
Same-sex marriage “has deeply impacted what is taught in schools’’ in Massachusetts, said state Senator Fenton Groen, a Republican.
The hearing went late into the day, with hundreds set to testify. Some read Bible passages or poetry, amid occasional eruptions of applause and hoots. Supporters of gay marriage far outnumbered opponents, but opponents said they were intent in overturning the law.
“It’s imperative that government only promote the best, most ideal household arrangements,’’ said state Senator Raymond White, a Republican.