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The New Hampshire legislature was awash with marriage equality supporters today as legislators heard testimony on bills to repeal New Hampshire's law legalizing same-sex marriages.

According to Adam Bink at the Proposition 8 Trial Tracker

The official pro-con count on the committee sign-in sheet is 540 in favor of equality, 40 opposed. Remarkable. For all those who joined in our Courage action to ask supporters to attend- or attended yourself- pat yourselves on the back!

 Here are some tweets from New Hampshire Freedom to Marry's twitter feed on the Blue New Hampshire Blog:

"I will say something that no one has said before: Gay marriage will lead to Sharia Law."

It's true. I have never heard that particular argument made before.  Congratulations on making yourself look more foolish than anyone would have thought possible.

"Marriage discrimination is like cutting the ends off of a pot roast because the pot's not big enough."

Well, I guess that's pro-marriage-equality, and at least it doesn't mention Sharia Law. But I don't get it.

"I will lose my freedom of speech/assembly/religion because of hate crime laws... because gays marry... Gay folks are confused. I'm not a bigot. I donate to HIV charities. Gays don't really want marriage."

Very confused. So confused that ten times as many supporters of equality showed up to testify as did opponents.

"Been doing this for 10 yrs and never seen this sort of love & support for marriage equality."

And it's about time we out-activized NOM and their minions...

"540 signed in in in opposition to repeal and only 56 or so in support of repeal. So heartening!"

Will it actually matter, though?  Do NH Republican legislators have hearts?

"Do the right thing and vote for equality.  It's what Ronald Reagan would do."

Coffee spurted onto keyboard and screen.  But, hey, if invoking the Republican God works, go for it.

Male, college hockey player: "I am bisexual. No one knew that until now. Support equality, not religious opposition."

He scores!

"I feel my rights as a constituent were violated when my rep voted for gay marriage.  I want the people to vote."

The Founding Fathers would disagree, even if you do wear similar outfits..

David (14 yrs old): "We can't dictate what people do.  What the government CAN do is provide a baseline of equality under the law."  

Sounds older than 14 to me.

The fact that I live in a world where my brother, Robbie, is a 2nd class citizen sickens me"

Me too.

"Maggie Gallagher drops her 'two great halves of humanity' line. Everyone drink!"

 -- Oh, Maggie, I wish I'd never seen your face.  (performed by Wet, Wet Wet)

"The passing of these bills encourages the precedent that the rights of anyone can be violated and nullified."

Can you say 'Proposition 8' ?

"We are your friends. We are your families, neighbors.  How is my normal, boring, Glee DVR'ing marriage a threat to anyone?"

It's obvious: Singing is a slippery slope to Sharia Law.  See above comments.

Genesis lays out a really good case for vegetarianism.  But I'm not trying to impose that 'lifestyle' on you either!

Thank Gods. I'm a carnivore. I would not survive long in a world devoted to vegetarianism.

============

They are still at is as far as I can tell, hearing testimony "until the wee hours of the morning if necessary", as one legislator put it.

Here's an update from Prop8TrialTracker:

The committee is very likely to vote today or next week to retain the bills. There is a small chance that some action could still be taken, but the last day to act on the bills would be mid-March and the full House has to complete all actions by Thursday, March 31st. That day is known as Crossover in New Hampshire and is when all bills must cross over to the Senate and visa versa. By general rule of thumb, retained bills will then lay in committee until next January.

It is not a guarantee that there will be another public hearing next year, so today’s turnout was critically important.

By 'retain' is meant 'hold the bill over until next year's Legislative session, and not vote on it in this year's session.'  But by law all bills must eventually be voted on, so there is no possibility that these repeal bills can be scuttled.

Updated by jpmassar at Thu Feb 17, 2011, 06:04:55 PM

Update:  In Maryland, the Senate committee responsible for the marriage equality bill has voted 7-4 in favor to vote it out of committee.  A vote in the Maryland Senate is expected some time next week.

Updated by jpmassar at Thu Feb 17, 2011, 06:42:50 PM

Update This diary was republished at the Milk Men and Women' and Angry Gays groups.  You may be interested in following or joining those groups.

Updated by jpmassar at Thu Feb 17, 2011, 07:44:57 PM

Update: Another Maryland Senator committed a bit ago to voting for marriage equality, bringing the total to 24, a majority. Story

Originally posted to jpmassar on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 02:58 PM PST.

Also republished by Angry Gays and Milk Men And Women.

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