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Last week New Hampshire's Democratic governor John Lynch refused to sign a marriage equality bill that had passed both chambers of the NH legislature. Sure, he couched it in bullshit weasel words about how it was important to protect "religious marriage," but the reality was that the legislature had already bent over backward in making it clear that no religious body would be required to honor or perform a same-sex marriage.

Instead of signing the bill, he sent it back to the legislature with a requirement that they change the language.  And guess what?  The NH House just voted against the changes Lynch demanded in order to sign the bill.  

Folks are still trying to figure out what happened, but it's quite possible that now the bill is dead for the rest of this legislative session.  

Is it a matter of principle that the House didn't sign on to the unnecessary changes? Did Lynch cut a back-room deal with some House members to kill the bill so he wouldn't have to sign it? It's certainly plausible that Lynch pulled a bullshit move with some allies in the legislature; after all, as the Concord Monitor reported in 2008, the NH Senate Democratic campaign fund had by that point paid Lynch $109,000 in consulting fees.

That's right, the Democratic campaign fund for the one of the legislative bodies was paying consulting fees to the sitting head of the executive branch.

Here are the simple facts: John Lynch is the governor of a socially liberal state, one of the most socially liberal states in America. The NH legislature passed a perfectly fine marriage equality bill that made very explicit its protections of religious institutions. Lynch could have signed it.  He didn't, and instead required a painfully constructed bill, the product of a volatile and fragile coalition, be sent back to the legislature to make unnecessary changes.  

Do not be confused by the technicalities here: NH Democratic governor John Lynch, governor of one of the most socially tolerant states in American, killed marriage equality in his state.  

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:14 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  At the risk of sounding trite, WTF? (14+ / 0-)

    Why are the Democrats paying him consulting fees?

    Oh, that stinks.  That stinks big time.

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

    by Kaili Joy Gray on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:15:56 PM PDT

  •  So, don't confuse me with the non-technecalities (6+ / 0-)



    Is he a bigot?
    Does he harbor ambitions larger than NH?
    Is he waiting for GLBT people to pay him off?

    Inquiring aardvarks want to know.

    Smiting trolls on the tubes since 1977!

    by blue aardvark on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:16:19 PM PDT

  •  since you are checking into consultants... (5+ / 0-)

    check to see if Senator Harry Reid has been consulting Governor Lynch.

    Did I vote for crap like this?

    Hell, republican leaders did exactly what the republicans want.

    Why can't democratic leaders try to follow suit?

    Republicans===the party of the 1% rich people in America. Or in other words..The Party of NO!

    by jalapeno on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:16:23 PM PDT

  •  What in the world is Lynch worried about? (12+ / 0-)

    He's been reelected with 70 percent of the vote two times in a row, and the New Hampshire GOP isn't dominated by religious kooks.  Does someone have naked pictures of him somewhere that we don't know about?

    GOP=Grand Obstructionist Party

    by Christian Dem in NC on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:16:56 PM PDT

  •  You're jumping to conclusions. (24+ / 0-)

    The NH House voted not to kill the bill by a thirty-vote margin. By two votes, it sent it to committee for revisions and a possible revote in 2 wks. Sky has not fallen.

    •  I Didn't Jump to a Conclusion (2+ / 0-)

      I said nobody knows what's going to happen next, but there is sound speculation that it's not going anywhere this session.  

      "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

      by Dana Houle on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:18:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Still (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Turtle Bay, 714day

        It's an important political and strategic point that should be mentioned prominently in the main text. It's the difference between fighting like hell to ensure a revote in two weeks and whipping the votes and giving up on the current bill because you think the bill is dead this year.

        •  Direct Quote: (0+ / 0-)

          Folks are still trying to figure out what happened, but it's quite possible that now the bill is dead for the rest of this legislative session.

          "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

          by Dana Houle on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:22:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You don't think that's sort of vague? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Turtle Bay, 714day

            Why not add a sentence saying:

            "The Bill has currently been sent back to Committee, and could be voted on again as early as two weeks from now. Progressives should start mobilizing to make sure the vote happens and to persuade their state representatives to vote the bill through."

      •  "Sound Speculation" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        C S McCrum, 714day, Mara Jade

        There is also "sound speculation," in the form of an actual rule allowing a re-vote in a matter of weeks, this session, that there will be a re-vote in a matter of weeks, this session.

        It is beyond me as to why you would not aggressively inform your readers that there may be a short window to actually mobilize to do something, instead of b****ing about Lynch and throwing your hands up in the air.

    •  Agreed (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      C S McCrum, 714day, TLS66

      I'm pretty sure purist Democrats vote against this because of what Lynch wanted put in.

      If what you say is true, that it already expressed protections of religious institutions, then why not humor him and do what he says?

      This is the purists' fault. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

      Don't donate to the DSCC in 2010 - they'll give your money to Harry Reid. Donate to the candidates instead!

      by arcticshadow on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:18:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree (3+ / 0-)

      I think the House is just exercising its right not to be a third banana to the Gov and the Senate.  They didn't want to rubber stamp the Gov's changes, but want to negotiate with the Senate.  Lynch may be an ass and a coward, but the bill's not dead yet by a long shot.

  •  Douchery in NH. (4+ / 0-)


    Don't tell me about the "new politics" if you're an asshole.

    by Ms Johnson on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:17:25 PM PDT

  •  OMG (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pender, unspeakable

    What a load of bullshit!

    God, so angry.

    Proud to be an American, once more.

    by LeanneB on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:18:20 PM PDT

  •  JESUS FUCKING CHRIST. (11+ / 0-)

    Who gives a shit who marries who.

    Anybody who cares a least shit about such things needs to get a goddam life.

    Sorry, but for real, I'm so tired of lame-ass loser weak-ass people worrying what other people do, if it doesn't hurt anybody.


    Our technology constantly outstrips our wisdom. -blue aardvark. Civil rights for all.

    by blue husky on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:18:32 PM PDT

  •  THis is amusing coming from you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When are you going to do a diary on Obama's back peddling on Don't Ask, Don't tell. I won't make excuses for the NH governor. But, please- this is not credible.

    •  Your Comment is Typical (5+ / 0-)

      You deal with people like they're cartoons, without finding out wtf you're talking about.

      For instance, you probably think I'm some anti-gay jerk, because that's the simplistic way you view the universe, when in fact I managed the campaign in Michigan in 2004 against the marriage amendment.

      The world may be simpler for those who break it down in to coarse schematics.  But it seldom conforms to reality when you do that.

      "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

      by Dana Houle on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:20:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well the difference here (4+ / 0-)

      is that Congress is barely moving at all on DADT, whereas Lynch had a bill ready to sign into law, and refused.  I definitely agree that we have to hold Obama's feet to the proverbial fire to make him a better advocate for dismantling DADT, but this isn't really the best parallel.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:29:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cowardice is cowardice (0+ / 0-)

        Pretending otherwise is a double standard that the diarist wishes to reinforce. This

        •  Yes and no. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Killer of Sacred Cows, LeanneB

          Cowardice is cowardice, but the most Obama can do to solve the (long-term) problem of DADT is advocate against it - the ball is in Congress' corner.  The ball was in Lynch's corner, and he dropped it.

          Both require us to do a lot of heavy lifting in terms of communicating with and advocating for these issues, but apart from the fact that both involve the LGBT community, I don't think the parallel is all that strong.

          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

          by pico on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:36:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Obama won't advocate against DADT. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            craigkg, CajunBoyLgb

            He's not going to touch this with a ten-foot pole.  Too many people that voted for him, i.e. Obama Republicans, will desert him en masse if he sticks his neck out over this.  In any case, he showed his true colors to me during the primary, and I expect nothing from him regarding LGBT equality.  "Fierce advocate", indeed...

            No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

            by jarhead5536 on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:42:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not suggesting he will, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Killer of Sacred Cows

              I'm saying it's the only thing he has the legal power to do, as far as the long-term policy can go.  He could get away with a temporary hold on the policy by citing wartime necessity, but that'll only last as long as the war.  In the meantime, the legal route to dismantling goes through Congress rather than through him.  

              Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

              by pico on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:45:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  He has already refused to stop (0+ / 0-)

                the discharges.  DADT is a political football, and Obama flat refuses to pick it up out of need to retain his Blue Dog constituency in 2012...

                No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

                by jarhead5536 on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:47:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  A few points (0+ / 0-)

                a) Not everyone agrees about the legal standard:


                "Under the law "the President may suspend any provision of law relating to promotion, retirement, or separation applicable to any member of the armed forces who the President determines is essential to the national security of the United States" during a "period of national emergency."  The statute specifically defines a "national emergency" as a time when "members of a reserve component are serving involuntarily on active duty."

                b) The issue is not just what his legal ability is, but whether he is changing position:


                c) Finally, the part that's missing in this is that he was making overtures and is now back peddling. I do not have the links, but when asked  the question regarding DADT the messaging has changed from yes, we will, do maybe, do we don't want totalk about it. If you follow the story with  Americablog, Towleroad and Washington Blade (the gay press), then you would have seen it.

                d) Nor, am I the only one to notice this- the Servicemember Legal Defense has been tracking the issue too:


                Again, I don't have the link so you will have to search the site.

                •  Well, no. (0+ / 0-)

                  a) is still a temporary fix, as I said, so I'm not sure what you're disagreeing with.  
                  b) the link you provided is about the Pentagon, not the president.  The Pentagon has never supported overturning DADT.
                  c&d) that's a legitimate complaint, but that's a political issue, not a legal one.  And besides that, the White House's official stance has in fact not changed - what's gotten frustrating about it is the inertia, not the change in policy.  In the meantime, some little things are happening in the periphery.

                  Look: I used to do the LGBT roundup at DocuDharma: I read all these sites regularly, and I know what the arguments are.  

                  Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                  by pico on Wed May 20, 2009 at 03:10:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  few points (0+ / 0-)

                    a) Its a fix he's not doing. THus the cowardice. If you do not disagree with my point, then you agree he's diplaying fear. The conversation started because I said the diarist is being a hypocrite to argue about one Dem asking for religious exceptions to performing marriages and will sign marriage equality, but  ignoring what Obama is doing on DADT and other gay rights issues nationally. A subject thats been int he national news a lot.

                    b) The Pentagon linke says more than that, and is only the latest example of backpeddling  language. I do not have time to search for the links over the last several months. The point is to provide some back up rather than just making a claim here, but its by no means the only one.

                    c) Others do not know the arguments. So, whatever you know - is not as important as providing the links for others to also know there are various questions that are being ignored by Dana.

                    •  This is bizarre. (0+ / 0-)

                      a) Yes, and I agreed with you that it displays cowardice, and that it's also only a temporary fix.  It's also not the kind of situation that Lynch is in, which is why I criticized the parallel.  It's cowardly and it's frustrating, both of which I've been pretty clear about - as well as Congress' responsibility to enact a more permanent solution.

                      b) Are you really going to say you don't have time to provide links, right before criticizing me for not providing links?  As you said, "Others do not know the arguments.  So, whatever you know - is not as important as providing the links for others to also know that there are various questions" here.  Physician, heal thyself!

                      c) what any of this has to do with this diary and this issue, I'm not entirely sure.  It doesn't justify the hijack.  So Dana - who will tell you that I'm not one of his biggest fans - wants to criticize a Democratic governor for dropping the ball on same-sex marriage, he needs to publish a string of diaries about the Obama administration?  Why?  

                      There's no reason for people to be fighting in this diary's comments.  This is a diary about New Hampshire, and while there's considerable disagreement about what route the legislation is likely to follow - some of the LGBT analysts think that going to committee is a good thing, because it'll streamline some kinds in an efficient way - I don't understand why we're now fighting about Obama.  Especially since we're in mostly vehement agreement.

                      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                      by pico on Wed May 20, 2009 at 03:34:49 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  huh? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        a) I misunderstood your point in context and for that I was mistaken.

                        b) Where do I ask you for a link? The following is not a criticism of you, but instead something expect of myself:

                        "Others do not know the arguments.  So, whatever you know - is not as important as providing the links for others to also know that there are various questions"

                        It explains why I provided links to provide others with context even if you understand my arguments. I did not want to assume what people knew. Not sure why you would assume that was about you since it was about my post.

                        c) If you think that gay rights nationally has nothing to do with what NH officials are doing then that maybe the source of the confusion here.

                        The gay rights movement is not merely local, the shift is occuring such that people are starting to see it as a national  civil rights struggle.  Do you really think these things are unlinked? Do you really think that mindset that goes into the politicians issue on gay rights in NH is separate from  DC or why Obama is avoiding the issue?

                        For that matter, do you really think that this blogs lack of real front page coverage of national gay rights issues makes it easier or harder to address this as issues versus people? I see plenty of Republicans and local issues, but never any direct mention of what Obama is doing. He's the President. He for better or worse sets agenda.

                        I have no problem discussing NH, but there is a larger politial American culture involved in all of this. The idea that we can not discuss that here is a problem because it does matter. It creates as you are seeing from the reaction by some a double standard because while you are admitting that the cowardice is not limited to NH, others may try to excuse it.

                  •  By the way (0+ / 0-)

                    if the diarist had written a general diary on policy in which he asked the Dems to do better on gay rights issue, then I would have found it acceptable. but the idea of singling out one person without across the board making it clear that this is a party wide problem is not very useful and given the diarist, I suspect is not being writtena bout in good faith, but rather to rile people up. Some here think for example that the NH governor vetoed the bill- which is not true.

                    •  On the other hand, (0+ / 0-)

                      isn't that pretty typical for front page posts?  Singling out individual politicians for criticism without turning it into a party wide opus is fairly standard on certain issues, so I'm not sure why this has set off your particular sirens.

                      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                      by pico on Wed May 20, 2009 at 03:36:15 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Maybe I noticed it because (0+ / 0-)

                        its my issue. I follow this for obvious reasons closely. Perhaps you are right about them doing this with all issues, but i think this is a mistaken approach that quite frankly I had not noticed until now.

            •  Fierce advocate...LOL (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              He's about as fierce of an advocate for LGBT rights as Jim Inhofe is for universal healthcare.

              Don't donate to the DSCC in 2010 - they'll give your money to Harry Reid. Donate to the candidates instead!

              by arcticshadow on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:54:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  That's just plain stupid. (0+ / 0-)

          Cowardice isn't just cowardice. The world ain't simple black-and-white.

          Obama's position is simply irrelevant, being that changes at the federal level are dead in the water. Obama's cowardice lies in dealing with torture and internal espionage -- that's what's on his plate and he's not moving on it. A little perspective please -- there are more important things in this world than gay marriage.

          On the other hand, Lynch isn't responsible for national security, for prosecuting war criminals, or shutting down an infrastructure of endemic surveillance. He has a legislature that's signed off on it -- it's not really asking very much at all to move on this. That's a deep cowardice.

          •  So, your excuse is that he's not up (0+ / 0-)

            for the task of Presidency? He has an agenda that is less ambitious than LBJ. Yet, LBJ passed the Civil Rights Amendments. As Obama said himself, Presidents must be able to do multiple things at once. So, by his standard and that of history- your argument is invalid.

            •  Who do you think LBJ was? (0+ / 0-)

              He only passed civil rights laws because MLK held his feet to the fire, threatening a very real revolution if he and his cronies refused to act. He also failed to stop the Vietnam war, even though he knew it was a pathetic escapade in mass murder without a chance of succeeding. Talk about cowardice -- killing 3 million people because he was afraid of the consequences of not killing them.

              You can't be elected if you're a deeply principled person. The best you can hope for is a self-interested limitation of the worst abuses. In the case of Obama, I'll judge him on torture and espionage -- the biggest things he has on his plate -- instead of looking to a "Saint President" who destroys his administration within minutes of his inauguration by acting on "principle" at every moment.

              •  I am arguing that we are not holding (0+ / 0-)

                obama's feet to the fire. Instead, whent he issue is brought up, it's excused away or focuses on holding state level officials accountable. I am al so saying that the issue is rarely if ever brought up at the national level by the front pagers so when people post about the states- I don't take it seriously becaue these issues are all connected. Why expect the local poliican to be courageous if we do not expect the same of national leadership?

                •  And if this is what you think Obama's (0+ / 0-)

                  feet should be "held to the fire" over, you're just a nutcase. This is appropriate to hold a state-level politico to -- but the President? You really think this goes to the level of war-crimes, endemic espionage, global warming, ...?


                  •  DADT is one example (0+ / 0-)

                    That I have already given. All these questions are the same question- equality under the law. Whether marriage rights or the ability to serve in the military. I have already discussed your argments over how Obama is too busy to take on the issue.

                    •  Yes, and I've already handled your (0+ / 1-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Hidden by:

                      insanity that this is a high-priority issue at the federal level -- you want him to blow his political capital on this, as if this was as important as the survival of republican forms of government, or the continued existence of the human race.

                      Fight at the state level -- but wait your turn at the federal level. "Equality under the law" means nothing if we're dead or elections have become a sick joke.

                      •  Are you seriously arguing national security (0+ / 0-)

                        while we are throwing out people who can translate Arabic and fighter pilots that were were about to deploy? The rest of your post is the standard rants and hyperbole I expected from Dana's groupies.

        •  Disagree. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Vetoing equality is worse than failing to promote equality. It's like the difference between omission and commission.

    •  Jesus Christ on a pogo stick, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pico, LeanneB, awsdirector

      since when do two wrongs make a right? The Governor might have screwed up royally, and it is a legitimate issue.

      Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

      by Dauphin on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:30:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Since when should I listen to hypocrite (0+ / 0-)

        tell me what is right and wrong?

        If I for one moment that this diarist cared about this issue, I would give him a break. but he doesn't. He's just using it.

        •  To what end? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LeanneB, Mara Jade

          If you're going to make accusations, please be specific.

          Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. -Mark Twain

          by unspeakable on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:34:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  cowardice is cowardice (0+ / 0-)

            the idea that this diarist is going to speak of this person's action as cowardice in NH who at least is willing to sign a bill on marriage equality is a joke considering that this site is MIA one Obama's cowardice on gay rights issues. It is no credible to read the diarist writing ont  he subject. Not just on this point, like DADT


            But, also on marriage equality nationally since not only is DOMA not going to be repealed (something I did not expect), but also when you read articles behind the scenes about the S.Ct. nomination- again you see the same cowardice.

            "Abortion, gay marriage complicate Supreme Court selection
            President Obama hopes for a candidate who won't galvanize conservatives over hot-button issues. That could lead to problems for some considered to be on his short list."


            "Obama is determined to avoid a "culture war" over the choice, White House aides and Democratic lawyers say, and he hopes to select a candidate who will not galvanize conservative activists over wedge issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.

            With that in mind, the White House is poring over the records of leading candidates for the high court, looking for potential flash points. That could lead to problems for some who are thought to be on Obama's short list. "

        •  This reminds me of (0+ / 0-)

          KM's diaries regarding that poor journalist imprisoned in Iran. His diaries were perfectly legitimate, but quite a few (rightly or, perhaps, not) assumed he had ulterior motives and meaningful conversation became difficult.

          The same thing's happening here. I don't think that you or anyone should look to DHinMI, or anyone, for that matter, as some sort of oracle who gazes upon the Platonic forms, only that this diary in and of itself is fine.

          Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

          by Dauphin on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:35:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually what I look for is non-hypocricy (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            714day, Dauphin

            and at least enough moral consistency to aid in increasing the rights of gay people like myself. Hypocricy does not helpt hat agenda because ultimately it makes the fight personality driven rather than policy driven.

  •  switched vote (13+ / 0-)

    According to Reuters, a vote that switched from yes to no was a gay Republican:

    State Representative Steve Vaillancourt, a gay Republican from Manchester, was a leading voice against the amendment securing religious liberties, saying that the House should not be "bullied" by the governor.

    I don't think there is any conspiracy here, just some absent legislators and at least one inflated ego on the pro-marriage side.

    You have the power to change America. Yes. We. Can.

    by CA Pol Junkie on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:19:06 PM PDT

  •  Could someone explain to something to me? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    How are there socially conservative Democrats in New England? What is the reason of their existence?

    Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems logical to me that the natural home of a socially conservative person in New England is the Republican Party.

    Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. -Mark Twain

    by unspeakable on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:19:53 PM PDT

  •  The whole idea of (5+ / 0-)
    more protections for religion was a fucking stupid thing in the first place. NH has a religion amendment similar to the federal Bill of Rights, meaning religion would have been protected ANYWAY. But he decided to give into conservative talking points.

    Good job moron.

    "ENOUGH!" - President Barack Hussein Obama

    by indiemcemopants on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:20:39 PM PDT

  •  not agreeing with me does not make him a coward (0+ / 0-)

    it makes him wrong, but I am guessing going against the legislator is not an act of political or otherwise cowardice might actually be the opposite

  •  It's too bad (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    craigkg, commonmass, awsdirector

    NH will miss out on the Gay Marriage Stimulus.. Maine, Connecticut, Vermont and Mass will divy up the rewards. Live Free or Die, the NH motto, now needs an asterisk after it. Live Free or Die* Homosexuals need not apply.

    •  New Hampshire (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mcmom, Andrew Sylvia

      Is certainly a complicated place. While I live in Massachusetts I am in NH frequently. I had breakfast at the Live Free or Diner (yep, that's a real place)in Plaistow NH on Monday--a place where the Union Leader and the Boston Globe both sit on the counter and I actually heard some talk about this marriage equality bill. It was interesting--I heard several people, regular customers, whom I know to be Republicans on the "pro" side of marriage equality suggesting that Gov. Lynch should sign the bill.

      There seems to be real support for this. That Lynch is being wishy-washy is interesting. Hardly surprising, but interesting.

      If the Union Leader readers at the Live Free or Diner are for it, how long can he hold out?

      "No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American people"--H.L.Mencken

      by commonmass on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:41:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So... (0+ / 0-)

    ...when is this jerk up for election, who's going to primary him, and where can we send campaign donations that challenger?

    The Senate's balance of power...the very future of our nation, is in the hands of Al Franken
    -Jon Stewart

    by bramish on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:21:20 PM PDT

  •  Why I'm NOT a Decmocrat (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    714day, The Dead Man

    Crap like this by Lynch and Harry's Reid's talking points scripted by Darth Cheney.

    We need a progressive party in the US after the party-of-no disappears to the small regional Republican Dixie Party (I've voted to rename them).

  •  Plus, I don't see where all the doom and gloom (4+ / 0-)

    Is coming from. It's going into conference, they should be able to change 2 purists back to the yea side.

    Don't donate to the DSCC in 2010 - they'll give your money to Harry Reid. Donate to the candidates instead!

    by arcticshadow on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:23:10 PM PDT

    •  Seem to be different reasons for their votes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      State Representative Steve Vaillancourt, a gay Republican from Manchester, was a leading voice against the amendment securing religious liberties, saying that the House should not be "bullied" by the governor.

      Vaillancourt said an earlier bill that did not provide protections to clerics or religious groups was the one that should have been passed, adding that the amended bill would allow discrimination to be written into state law.

      The earlier bill passed both chambers.

      Other House Republicans said they voted against the current bill because the process did not fairly give a voice to every citizen who wanted to speak on the issue.

      "People who have what they want are fond of telling people who haven't what they want that they really don't want it." Ogden Nash (on universal health care?)

      by Catte Nappe on Wed May 20, 2009 at 03:13:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is an override possible? (0+ / 0-)

    What can be done within that state's laws to bypass his flummery and get the law past him?  I know vetoes can be out-voted - can this?  What are the odds?

    Those who do not study history should not be permitted to make it.

    by trumpeter on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:23:11 PM PDT

  •  Got to draw the line somewhere. Next thing (8+ / 0-)

    some Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force whom we spent $25M training will turn out to be teh gay, and we'll have to fire him, medals, 2,000 flying hours, and all.

    For the good of the country, of course.

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:23:30 PM PDT

  •  Don't go THAT far (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    714day, Shih Tzu, Pender

    It might still be alive, barely....

    "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."-Unknown

    by skywaker9 on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:23:31 PM PDT

  •  Too Hard (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ed Tracey, 714day

    I think you are being too hard on Lynch here. He's not my favorite governor but it was some of the supporters who changed their vote out of principle. The additional language was bull but it wouldn't harm anything and there is no indication that Lynch was being bullied by anyone.

    He read the Connecticut language and liked it better. Like I said, "bull", but now where are we?

    Looks like a self-inflicted wound to me.  Poor Jim Splaine. He worked so hard. What a slap in the face to him!

    •  Its Not Over (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      714day, Pender

      According to articles on this, the two House of the Legislature have to negotiate a final bill and then pass it.  

      The fact the House didn't go along is shocking and wrong. I am extremely angry with this nonsense.

      •  This is correct - EQUALITY ISN'T DEAD (7+ / 0-)

        Diarist/writer needs to get the facts -- NH House voted not to concur with the Senate 186-188, then voted by a rather wide margin in comparison to go to conference with the Senate to come up with language acceptable to both houses and the governor.

        REPEAT:  This isn't over.

        Dana, please make the correction to your story.

        Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

        by ElsieElsie on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:46:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  True (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ed Tracey, 714day, Catte Nappe, ElsieElsie

          Also the vote was on the amended language not the actual bill if I am correct.  In theory Lynch could still sign the bill as is....of course he won't.

          We will have to see if the two Houses come up with compromise language and pass it.  Again what an unneccessary mess.

          •  You're absolutely right (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ed Tracey, 714day

            HB 436 and the amendment from the Senate with which the House already concurred (HB 310 -- which already re-voices some religious protections) have been passed and cannot be recalled by the legislature.

            Lynch could just point to constitutional and legal protections for religions and sign the bills and stop playing politics with people's civil rights, and in this sense he is responsible for torturing GLBT New Hampshirites and their families.

            At the same time, this bill is going to conference. They can provide Lynch the precise language in Connecticut and Vermont bills, as requested, and I think they should -- and then he can sign it all in to law.

            Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

            by ElsieElsie on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:58:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Here is Representative Jim Splaine himself ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      .... an out gay man, and the sponsor of the legislation, from part of his post at Blue Hampshire earlier today. If he's not panicking, then neither should we.

      What has to happen is the Governor's requested language to protect freedom and independence of religion has to pass into statute, and that means House Bill 73 has to pass.  The good news is that we can do this -- the House by a vote of 207 to 168 said that we should have a Committee of Conference to find a way to do this.

      The Committee will be created next Wednesday when the State Senate agrees with the House on the motion.  THEN the CoC will be appointed -- three or four House members, and three or four Senate members.  They will be members appointed by the House Speaker and Senate President.  It will have members dedicated to finding a solution.  

      The House and Senate next meet together in two weeks, on Wednesday, June 3rd.  The CoC will report back then, possibly with some new language in the bill.

      "We should pay attention to that man behind the curtain."

      by Ed Tracey on Wed May 20, 2009 at 04:38:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  sorry lynch (0+ / 0-)

    you can't fight inevitability.

    and this is a stain on your legacy... not an asset.

    let's get rid of this coward?

  •  So when does this sniveling shit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    run for re-election?  Sounds like he needs a primary challenger.

    •  Governors Run For Re-Election Every 2 Years In NH (0+ / 0-)

      If he ran again, he'd be running for his fourth term.

      The only governor who has had four terms since Indpendence is Meshech Weare, who had five terms.

      However, Weare was also governor during the Revolutionary War, so I doubt anybody else really wanted it then.

      Lynch's approval ratings are close to where President Obama's are. If he decides to run again, a credible primary challenger is unlikely.

      However, it's just as likely that if he would be focusing on his legacy now and go back to the Trustees of the University System, a role he enjoyed before becoming Governor.

      That's the thing about Governor Lynch, he is very tight lipped on his intentions about most things.

  •  Am I supposed to be surprised??? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There was an anti-gay hate crime committed in my town last weekend, but of course, my state doesn't include "sexual orientation" in its hate crimes laws.

    In fact, in my state, I can be fired or evicted because I'm gay. And, I'm supposed to be surprised that the Republican governor of New Hampshire killed marriage equality?

    Hell, my state's legislature is 75% Democrat. The Governor is a Democrat. The Attorney General is a Democrat. The Secretary of State is a Democrat. 4 of the 5 justices on the state's Supreme Court are Democrats.

    So when there is a front page entry about how my State killed basic rights for the LGBT community (two years in a row), get back to me.

  •  he bears some responsibility... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    714day, Catte Nappe, craigkg

    ...because his "improved" religious liberty protections seem to have been purely for political cover.

    but i really don't think he anticipated this house vote (nor did i). i think he fully expected the legislature to concur and to ultimate sign the bill.

    "I don't think they're going to be any more successful in 2010" -Yes On 8 co-manager

    by jethropalerobber on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:26:08 PM PDT

    •  That's a good possibility, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      especially considering how insubstantial the changes were.  But now there are real-world consequences to decisions made via political calculation, which should be a lesson.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:31:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The hoops people will jump through (0+ / 0-)
    to deny others' rights is astounding.

    "Prez is the pootie...and press is the pootie toy."(BiPM)

    by awsdirector on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:27:32 PM PDT

  •  Bullshit, Dana. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    C S McCrum, Turtle Bay, 714day, DB55

    I call bullshit.

    It's all on the NH House.  The changes Lynch sought, I thought, were reasonable.

    Why the House voted AGAINST a bill that had CONCESSIONS in it escapes me.

    Pragmatic progressivism is the future.

    by Pragmaticus on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:27:52 PM PDT

  •  AMERICABlog's take is a little less doom & gloom (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    714day, bruh1, Catte Nappe

    Don't know who to believe...

    No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

    by Magster on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:31:27 PM PDT

  •  Typical (0+ / 0-)

    It suddenly seems as if Democrats are so afraid of the gop they cave on everything. No bush investigations, no credit card reform with teeth, no kicking ass in Wall Street, no mortgage reform, can't close Gitmo, no standing up and yelling "the gop are nothing but a bunch of lying shits", nothing.
    I guess the state leaders are just taking lessons from the national leaders.

  •  "Call for Superchicken" ! (0+ / 0-)

    John, you knew this job was dangerous when you took it.

    So I'm afraid you'll have to overlook it.

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:33:36 PM PDT

  •  revote (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There can still be a revote right?  either way, what happened with those 26 votes not included in the 188-186?

  •  Yet another Example..... (6+ / 0-)

    of Kossack overreaction, misinformation, and silliness.

    1. The bill goes back to committee to reconcile the minor differences.
    1. The House and Senate re-vote.
    1. The governor signed the bill with his requested minor change inserted.
    1. Drama and faux outrage disappear.

    I don't have "issues". I have a full subscription!

    by GayIthacan on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:36:57 PM PDT

  •  Governor Lynch..... (0+ / 0-)

    get the fuck out of the Governor's mansion! Can anyone primary this piece of shit?

  •  Rescind his marriage license until it's passed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That's snark, but what the heck?
    What are the chances that they modified bill will pass the legislature again?

    "Half of my life, I spent doing time for some other fucker's crime. The other half's found me stumbling 'round drunk on burgundy wine." -R. Hunter

    by mungley on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:38:13 PM PDT

  •  stupid question (0+ / 0-)

    So the amendment to the bill is in committee for 'some period of time'.

    Both houses have already passed a bill.  The governor has NOT YET vetoed the bill.  If the house holds the bill in committee for two weeks, does this force the governor to either sign or veto the bill NOW?

    Hey, you guys lost. It's supposed to taste like a s**t taco. -- Jon Stewart

    by lostboyjim on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:41:45 PM PDT

  •  I think that Lynch's request was reasonable (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    714day, nascardem, Pragmaticus

    No church should be forced to marry a gay couple. I don't know why the NH Legislature didn't agree with the changes.

  •  Lynch is fudging on Medical Marijuana too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Jester

    The NH House & Senate passed a law making medical marijuana legal and seems to be fudging around on this bill too.  He wants to disallow patients or caregivers to grow it themselves and allow it only to be dispensed at hospitals.

  •  All he had to do was let it become law, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dana Houle, Pender

    if the constitution is similar to Idaho's, no signature necessary. It was obviously some sort of chickens--t deal w/ the legislature. They should get their butts beat. BTW, this opinion is from a 70 year old white female.

    I think, therefore I am. I think.

    by mcmom on Wed May 20, 2009 at 03:01:04 PM PDT

  •  I think the diarist is (6+ / 0-)

    (1) overreacting without knowing exactly what happened today and what the bill's prospects are during the next several weeks; and
    (2) overplaying the "social liberalism" of NH -- this is a state that was considered rock-ribbed Republican just a few short years ago.

  •  What is this, national DINO month? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JC from IA

    "You don't know what you don't know. And you'll never know."--former NFL coach Jim Mora.

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Wed May 20, 2009 at 03:04:00 PM PDT

  •  Overreaction? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bruh1, sam2300, Mordoch

    Reports are that it went back to committee for further tweaking of the language, and will come back for a revote in a couple of weeks.

    "People who have what they want are fond of telling people who haven't what they want that they really don't want it." Ogden Nash (on universal health care?)

    by Catte Nappe on Wed May 20, 2009 at 03:04:19 PM PDT

  •  You're Only Getting Part Of The Story Here (6+ / 0-)
    1. Signing the original bill, HB 436, wouldn't have been necessary to enact it into law due to Article 44 of the New Hampshire Constitution.
    1. A veto also would have been unlikely, but possible so House and Senate leadership were looking to gamble that getting a quick signature from the governor was worth grafting an amendment onto another unrelated bill.
    1. Steve Vallancourt, a gay libertarian Republican from Manchester, advocated strongly for the original bill but not due to the amendment out of disgust for Lynches actions.

    If he had voted for the amendment, it would have been a tie, the Speaker would have broken the tie in favor and gay marriage would be law in New Hampshire within the next few days.

    If you want to hate Governor Lynch, fine. But understand that hate of Governor Lynch is what is causing this bill to go into conference committee rather than to the Governor's desk.

    •  Governor Lynch is Why the Bill is Still Not Law (0+ / 0-)

      As mcmom correctly points out above, he didn't even need to sign it to let it become law.  

      "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

      by Dana Houle on Wed May 20, 2009 at 03:11:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your continued repeating of this point (3+ / 0-)

        Does nothing to fix the incredibly alarmist and misinformative nature of your post re: the actual vote and its consequences.

        Basically, you used your front-page privilege to post a long rant against Lynch (which he may well deserve), that could have been expressed in one paragraph in a comment on an open thread.

  •   Wrong on many levels (6+ / 0-)

    As someone who has been actively involved in New Hampshire on this bill, Mr. Houle is wrong on very many levels. Most importantly, this bill is not dead, and we will continue to fight to get it passed and signed thie year. This type of shoot from the hip ranting that is full of errors (like saying the senate committee pays Lynch $109,000, which is fiction) doesn't help us get the bill passed. Jim Splaine, the prime sponsor, who has been the ral hero here, said the Governor's proposed amenmdnet made the bill better.  

  •  Several legislators voted "nay" on this bill (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA Pol Junkie, Mordoch, JC from IA

    after voting "yea" on the previously unencumbered one, including: Vallaincourt, Dokomo, Pilliod, Beauchamp, Owen, and Shaw.

    "Most fools don't understand my worldview." - Ignatius J. Reilly

    by impygirl on Wed May 20, 2009 at 03:55:45 PM PDT

  •  Here in Iowa, we've had same-sex marriage for (0+ / 0-)

    about a month, now, and, Lo! and behold!  I don't think even one case of a church being asked to perform a ceremony which it objected to has even come up.  Nary even a question.

    Imagine that.

    Too bad for New Hampshire.  They bent over backward to correct a non-existent problem, and they end up discriminating against some of their citizens.  Better if they had told their bible-thumpers to STFU and be happy with all the constitutional goodies already afforded them in this country.  But, no, they had to try to codify discrimination to combat a threat that existed only in their minds.

  •  WTF!?!@# (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    NH as a "socially liberal state" my ass!!! I had the unfortunate circumstances to live in New Hampshire for nine years (Concord Heights) and while some people are liberal,the wingnuts in NH are just as thick as blackflies in the summer and just as annoying. A socially liberal state would have enacted an income tax instead of the crushing burden of multiple property taxes years ago. The Loeb family is spinning in their graves laughing at that one.

    •  Ignore it (0+ / 0-)

      It was necessary for the narrative that Lynch is an a**hole.  Which is the entire point of this diary.

      As for the actual vote, and what's going to happen, and what could be done, well, that's not important.  All that's important is that we know that John Lynch is a bad person.

      Truly, front-page material.

  •  Oh, and a final note (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Decided Voter, nascardem, sam2300

    The diarist can rationalize from here to eternity about the qualifications in the diary as to what's "quite possible."

    But the diary title says "Kills Marriage Equality."

    That's just a lie.  But who's to tell the diarist what to do?  Front page membership has its privileges...

  •  Seperation of Church and State (0+ / 0-)
    works both ways.

    Lynch is an idiot.

    The government can't force a church to do something its religion opposes.

    It's not even an issue.

  •  This is an important issue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and I, for one, would appreciate it if someone involved in New Hampshire politics would post a diary explaining what is actually going on here.

    As to this credibility-less "front pager", the best response is to ignore.

    •  Please go over to (0+ / 0-)

      Blue Hampshire

      Many over there think it will pass--the wording of HB73 was really bad--so it is being sent to a Committee of Conference.  They are putting their faith in a vote that was taken to indefinitely postpone the bill which was defeated by a wide margin.

      "The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them." ~Mark Twain

      by PoliSigh on Wed May 20, 2009 at 05:01:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lynch does it again. (0+ / 0-)

    It is infuriating, it is disgusting but we've had some real crackpot Governors like that crook and slimy weasel Craig Benson and the lunatic Meldrim Thompson.

    It appears that Lynch was looking for an excuse to boot the bill, and the 'Ocean Grove' BS was just what he needed.

    I've never liked Lynch, even though I can appreciate we'd be much worse off with an asshat like Benson [or worse] as Governor. Lynch has made a career of being what I'd have to call a concern troll, always seeming to find that obscure thing to throw a monkey wrench into change.

    I'm not surprised at all at this turn of events.

    My next letter to the Governor is not going to be as nice as the last one.

    We've been poisoned by these fairytales ..

    by shpilk on Wed May 20, 2009 at 04:29:07 PM PDT

  •  It's not dead yet (0+ / 0-)

    so the title is misleading.  I share in the frustration though.

    I would be surprised if there are any "backroom" deals since he's already expended political by saying he'd sign it.

    "The 'Gay Agenda' has indeed been revealed, and it bears a remarkable resemblance to the U.S. Constitution." ~Donna Minnis

    by Decided Voter on Wed May 20, 2009 at 04:46:49 PM PDT

  •  What a fucking rat bastard (0+ / 0-)

    Just as well Judd Gregg withdrew as commerce secretary. This prick most likely would have appointed a far right wingnut.

    In fact, wasn't it Lynch who soured everyone on the idea of Gregg at commerce, because he'd ruled out appointing a Dem to fill the seat?

    Everything the Man of Steele touches turns to Kryptonite.

    by PorridgeGun on Wed May 20, 2009 at 05:08:50 PM PDT

  •  Recall him... (0+ / 0-)

    If he isn't representing the the very clear will of the people... is that grounds for a recall?  

    There is no Miss Absinthe... only Zuul

    by miss absinthe on Wed May 20, 2009 at 05:40:43 PM PDT

  •  Having read the diary again (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dkulju, Andrew Sylvia

    On second reading, I am surprised by how off base this diary is. Marriage equality was not killed in NH; the legislation has gone to a conference committee.  Governor Lynch did not veto the legislation. He is not paid a consulting fee.  This is really bad journalism, citizen or otherwise.  Mr. Houle should get the facts before posting something like this.

  •  The biggest fallacy here (0+ / 0-) that any religious entity is required to marry anyone...and, further, that two people of the same sex would somehow (legally) demand to be married in a church that didn't want/accept them.

    It's like McCain/Palin stoking fears that Obama would have The Man show up at your door and demand you hand over your watch and all your cash to the infamous, imaginary "welfare queen." They created an absurd framework, and somehow everyone conceded to work within it.

    When I heard about the gov's decision, I just rolled my eyes. Churches/religious organizations are the most coddled of private entities by the gov't (even more than big business or whathaveyou, imo), and here you have a governor holding up a civil rights bill because, apparently, churches need more protection (than they already have in spades) from a threat (that doesn't even remotely exist). That's really the long and short of it.

  •  WHAT THE FUCK.... what kind of Lawyers are they.. (0+ / 0-)

    ... incase noone noticed, the Government cannot now or ever make any religious body do ANYTHING regarding its religion that it choses not to do.

    No gay marraige or civil union anything can ever make any religion recognize, participate in, or conduct any marriage they do not wish to.

    It's as lame and idiotic a statement of concern as the "releasing terrorists in America" bullshit over Gitmo.

    Noone is RELEASING any terrorists, and noone is forcing any church to recognize or conduct any marriage they do not choose to.

    I'm at the point where any lawyer espousing such nonsense should be summarily disbarred.

  •  for whatever it's worth... (0+ / 0-)

    Marriage equality is very much alive in NH.  Gov. Lynch belatedly proposed some relatively minor changes, after both houses of the legislature had passed two marriage equality bills.  The Senate was still holding on to one other House bill related to marriage, and they used it as a vehicle for Lynch's proposals (although the Senate's rules actually allow them to make non-germane amendments, so they could have used any old bill.)

    (The legislature, which holds regular sessions from January through June each year, is operating under a "crossover" rule at the moment: the House is only considering Senate bills and the Senate is only considering House bills.)

    The vehicle for Lynch's amendments was HB73, which was originally a housekeeping measure updating the wording of a few marriage-related statutes.  The Senate passed the amdended bill by a straight (bad choice of adjective) party-line vote on May 20th (the day all these comments were posted.)  The same day, the House refused to concur with the Senate by a 186-188 vote.  Obviously any of the 188 members who voted No could have reversed the course of events by voting Yes.  (A 187-187 tie would have been broken by the Speaker, who is very much in favor of marriage equality.)  But there were basically 6 members who stopped the progress of HB73 by changing their votes on May 20th: 3 Democrats who had (apparently) deliberately missed the previous vote showed up and actually voted No this time, and 3 (rather well-known) Republicans who voted Yes previously decided to vote No this time.  None of them did so because they had changed their minds about the underlying issue however, and interestingly one Republican flipped from No to Yes this time.

    After refusing to concur with the Senate's version of HB73, the House did agree to form a Committee of Conference.  One of the Republicans who flipped his vote on May 20th was amongst those on the conference committee.  That committee met on Friday, May 29th and came up with a new version of HB73, which probably will pass on June 3rd.

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