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N.H. rep. cancels pursuit of amendment to ban marriage equality

The New Hampshire state representative sponsoring a bill that would repeal the state’s same-sex marriage law has decided not to pursue a constitutional amendment that would forever ban gay and lesbian couples from marrying, reports the Associated Press.

Rep. David Bates (R-Windham) told AP on Tuesday that amending the constitution would be a lengthy process, and he would rather the state Legislature focus on the repeal bill.

From AP:

Bates said he did not want to risk having lawmakers choosing between two measures: the bill and a constitutional amendment.

“It would complicate the decision for legislators if there was another alternative out there,” he said.

The legislative process seems the appropriate way to decide the issue, he said. If a constitutional amendment is used, millions of dollars in out-of-state money would flow into New Hampshire on both sides of the issue, he said.

“I don’t think that’s the way people want it decided,” he said.

Bates’ legislation calling for a marriage-equality repeal moved forward last week, receiving a favorable vote by the House Judiciary Committee.

The National Organization for Marriage’s New Hampshire campaign has attempted to show that a majority of New Hampshirites support repealing same-sex marriage by using manipulated photos of large crowds unrelated to same-sex marriage in New Hampshire. However, a poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire last month showed proponents of repealing same-sex marriage in New Hampshire are outnumbered 2 to 1.

New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch has promised to veto the repeal law if it passes next year.

At a campaign stop in Manchester, N.H., last Friday, GOP presidential contender Rick Perry endorsed the marriage-equality repeal.

Perry was quoted by Reuters:

“I applaud those legislators in New Hampshire who are working to defend marriage as an institution between one man and one woman,” Perry said, adding that he supported the “sanctity of traditional marriage.”

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