A conservative group’s effort to push for a statewide vote on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage has met with mixed results.
A number of towns will be weighing in on an article at town meeting this March that asks if the people should be allowed to vote on a constitutional amendment defining marriage. The resolution complements a bill sponsored by state Rep. Dudley Dumaine, R-Auburn, that would create a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
But some towns have rejected the idea of voting on a resolution that essentially calls for overturning the state’s same-sex marriage law.
State Rep. David Bates, R-Windham, is spearheading the petition drive and has formed the group “Let NH Vote” to promote the effort in towns across the state. Yesterday, Bates said he expects votes will take place in at least 125 towns, and he is waiting to hear from more.
Towns in some remote areas have gone ahead and gathered petitions without any help from Let NH Vote, he said.
“It’s all over the state. Every county will have (towns with) a question on the ballot,” Bates said.
Although a precise count of participating towns was unavailable yesterday, some of the towns the resolution will be voted on are: Allenstown, Auburn, Charlestown, Danville, Hampstead, Litchfield, Littleton, Londonderry, Newton, Pelham, Plaistow, Rye, Seabrook, Sandown, Stratham, Swanzey, Wakefield, Weare and Windham.
Success in towns like Londonderry has been attributed to the group framing the debate not as a gay rights issue, but as a voters rights issue. Londonderry town councilors on Monday overturned their previous decision not to put the resolution forward and accepted a new petition after a flurry of angry calls from residents.
State Rep. Al Baldasaro, R-Londonderry, who submitted both petitions and is the sponsor of a bill to repeal gay marriage, said it was the desire to vote that helped him gather more than 900 signatures.
“The people in this town are saying they want to vote,” said Baldasaro. “Even people who are in favor of (same-sex marriage) wanted to have a vote.”
I’ve got a better idea for my New Hampshire neighbors: let’s vote on the rights of Baldasaro, Bates and DuMaine to marry!
Let’s vote on THEIR rights, their families, their privileges! Their protections under law, their coverages on a laundry list of insurance policies, deeds, medical forms and the like…
Congratulations on your marriage!
In your honor the U.S. Government happily presents to you:
1. Access to social security security after a spouse’s death.
2. Access to health insurance through a spouse’s workplace.
3. The right to custody of children after a divorce.
4. Visitation rights for nonbiological children.
5. Joint parenting rights such as access to children’s school records.
6. Bereavement leave after the death of a spouse.
7. Burial determination after the death of a spouse.
8. Domestic violence intervention.
9. Sick leave to care for a spouse or nonbiological child.
10. Legal validation of a long-term relationship.
11. Ability to live in neighborhoods deemed “families only”.
12. Access to life insurance in a spouse’s workplace.
13. Access to survivor benefits in case of emergency.
14. Access to spouse’s benefits in case of emergency.
15. Ability to dile wrongful death claims.
16. Right to shared propertu, child support and alimony after divorce.
17. Ability to file joint home and auto insurance policies.
18. Joint rental leases with automatic renewable rights if spouse dies or leaves.
19. Automatic inheritance of retirement savings tax free after spouse’s death.
20. Automatic exemption of property tax increases on shared assets gained after spouse’s death.
21. Ability to file joint tax returns.
22. Access to tax breaks for married couples.
23. Veterans’ discounts based on spouse’s armed forces status.
24. Assumption of spouse’s pension after death.
25. Ability to file joint bankruptcy.
26. Ability to collect unemployment benefits after leaving a job to relocate because of spouse’s job move.
27. Ability to transfer property from one spouse to another without transfer tax consequences.
28. Access to fostering children.
29. Automatic next of kin status for emergency medical decisions and hospital visitation status.
30 Immigration and residency priority for spouses from other countries.
31. Ability to invoke spousal privilege in a court of law.
32. Access to reduced-rate memberships at health clubs, social clubs, and other organizations.
33. Prison visitation rights.
NOTE: ALL OF THE ABOVE ARE RESERVED ONLY FOR UNIONS THAT CONSIST OF ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN.
THE RIGHTS OF SAME-SEX COUPLES ARE LISTED ON THE BACK OF THIS CARD.
And as you all know, the back of the card is BLANK…
h/t Blender Herb