Liz Mair reminded us yesterday of something significant about the New Hampshire House’s rejections of “a bill that would have made their state legislature the first one to repeal” the state’s decision to recognize same-same unions as marriage: the legislature that rejected repeal was overwhelmingly Republican.
Now, to be sure, the GOP leadership did push repeal, but the rank and file did not entirely fall into line. This is pretty significant considering how small the districts are in the Granite State; most representatives know their constituents. They’ll have to deal with them directly when the legislature is not in session (and even when it is). Thus this vote is considerably more significant than a vote in a larger state where legislators contact with their constituents is often filtered through their staff and special interests.
In Liz’s view,
New Hampshire Republicans who voted against repealing gay marriage made the right call. Gay marriage doesn’t represent a threat to any individual liberties so long as robust conscience protections are in place, whereas the repeal of it would undermine a prior expansion of individual liberties (even if civil unions were permitted).