VIDEO: Huge Turnout of Marriage Supporters at New Hampshire Hearing
February 18, 2011
The New Hampshire House was packed with people wearing red yesterday – the color signifying the love between committed gay couples. The House Judiciary Committee is considering a pair of bills that would take away the freedom to marry in the state. But the bills' sponsors asked that consideration be postponed until next year, so lawmakers can focus on the economy. The request didn't stop some 750 marriage supporters from turning out to make their voices heard and testify. There were only about 50 marriage opponents at the sometimes emotional hearing.
Holding back tears, Rep. Steve Vaillancourt (R) said, "There is an infinite amount of love in the world, and no straight person is denied love when gay people are shown that they have the right to love."
Since the marriage law was passed in 2009, an estimated 1,300 gay couples have gotten married in the state. "As people live with the law and these marriages, they realize that it has no impact on their lives," said New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Executive Director Mo Baxley. "They understand that gay and lesbian couples share the same values of other couples, like love, commitment and family."
A WMUR Granite State Poll this month showed that 62 percent of New Hampshire voters want to leave the law in place, compared with only 29 percent who want to repeal it.
This week a new campaign to defend the freedom to marry was launched, called Standing Up for New Hampshire Families. It's a bipartisan group of citizens, business owners, people of faith, and civic leaders.
You can watch a news report on the hearing here.