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They know they cannot win, they are trying to avoid an embarrassing defeat.

p>APNewsBreak: NH rep drops gay marriage amendment/p> p> By Norma Love /p> p>Associated Press / November 1, 2011 /p> p>CONCORD, N.H.—The sponsor of a constitutional amendment to prohibit gay marriage has decided not to pursue the measure next year to clear the way for a debate over repealing New Hampshire’s law legalizing the unions./p> p>State Rep. David Bates, the Windham Republican who also is sponsor of the repeal bill, told The Associated Press on Tuesday he wants to let the Legislature consider repealing the law enacted under Democrats two years ago before debating a constitutional change — a process that would take longer to implement./p> p>quot;The bill to change the meaning of marriage back to what it was in statute is well on its way,quot; Bates  said. Bates said he did not want to risk having lawmakers choosing between two measures: the bill and a constitutional amendment. quot;It would complicate the decision for legislators if there was another alternative out there,quot; 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. quot;I don’t think that’s the way people want it decided,quot; he said. Constitutional amendments need three-fifths vote of the membership of both houses to be placed on the ballot and two-thirds approval of the voters to be adopted./p> p>Same-sex marriage is legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia. Another 30 states have constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. The House Judiciary Committee voted last week to recommend replacing the law legalizing same-sex marriage with civil unions for any unmarried adults, including relatives. The committee recommended killing a bill that simply repealed the law. /p> p>The full House must vote on the bills early next year. If the House passes the repeal bill, it would go to the Senate. It takes a majority to pass bills. Democratic Gov. John Lynch has repeatedly said he will veto attempts by the Republican-controlled Legislature to repeal the law, which he signed in 2009. New Hampshire enacted civil unions in 2007 for same-sex couples and two years later replaced that law with the marriage law. Lynch also signed the civil unions law./p> Repeal opponents, including some Republican lawmakers, believe the vote to pass the bill in the House early next year will be close. They believe if it passes and is vetoed, they have the votes to sustain a veto. It takes a two-thirds vote of those present and voting to override a veto. On the other hand, Bates said he believes the law will be repealed. The bill would not enact the same civil unions law that was in effect before gays were allowed to marry. That law granted gays all the rights and responsibilities of br/>

An Evening by the Rainbow Chairs with Jodi Picoult

Bestselling author Jodi Picoult comes to the Highlands Inn for an event to benefit the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition. This fundraiser promises to be a special evening. Jodi and her friend Ellen Wilber who recorded the soundtrack accompanying Jodi’s latest book Sing You Home will be the honored guests at a reception at the Highlands Inn. The event continues at Bethlehem’s Colonial Theater where Jodi will read from S…ing You Home and Ellen will share some music from the soundtrack. Jodi will answer questions from the audience and Jodi will be available to sign books afterwards. A selection of Jodi’s books will be on sale at the theater by the Village Book Store of Littleton.

 

The event “An Evening by the Rainbow Chairs with Jodi Picoult” will be held July 25, 2011 at 6pm. One may attend the reception at the Inn for a donation of $50 or more. Advance reservations are required for this part of the evening. People who attend the reception are invited also to attend the reading. Tickets to attend only the reading at the Colonial Theater (2020 Main Street, Bethlehem) are available for a donation of $10 or more and are available in advance and at the Colonial Theater the evening of the event. The Colonial Theater event will begin at 8pm.

Jodi’s describes the Highlands Inn’s signature rainbow chairs in her book as evidence of the welcoming her protagonists find at the Highlands Inn. This inspired the title of the event and why donors able to make a gift to the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition of $1,000 or more will be known as Rainbow Chair Sponsors. These special guests will be acknowledged at the reception and will receive preferred seating for 2 at the Colonial Event. To learn more about being a Rainbow Chair Sponsor, contact Grace Newman at the Highlands Inn at 603-869-3978 or email vacation@highlandsinn-nh.com

Tickets to An Evening by the Rainbow Chairs are available by emailing vacation@highlandsinn-nh.com calling the Inn at 603-869-3978 or online at www.bethlehemcolonial.org


New Hampshire marches in Boston Pride

The 41st annual Boston Pride is Saturday June 11. The theme this year is: “Equality: No More, No Less.” (a very appropriate message for the marriage battle in NH).

 We will gather at 601 Tremont Street (in the South End) between Clarendon and Dartmouth Sts. (nearer Dartmouth, by the Blade barbershop).

Assembly time is 11:00 am.  The parade itself begins at noon.

New Hampshire Freedom to Marry will be marching in the parade on Saturday, June 11th, as well as having a table at the festival at City Hall Plaza the same day. The parade begins at noon (assembly by around 11:00 am), and the festival runs from noon to 6:00pm. Marriage equality in N.H. is still under threat. We want to alert all attendees from our state, as well as allies from Massachusetts and other New England states, that we cannot let up, we need their help, and we must all work together to defeat any attempt to fasten second class citizenship upon the members of NH’s LGBT community.

We hope you can join us in Boston on Saturday the 11th. WE WELCOME ALL THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO MARCH WITH US IN THE PARADE, along with other NH groups. Look for our banner. We would also gladly welcome anyone who can help staff the table at the festival. We will be setting it up on City Hall Plaza by 11:00 am. WE ARE ALSO ESPECIALLY LOOKING FOR SOMEONE WHO CAN HELP STAFF THE BOOTH BETWEEN 11:00 AM AND AROUND 1:30PM.

If you have any questions or would like to help, please contact us here or at info@nhftm.org.

Hope to see you Saturday in Boston!


Activist summit

Join us for an update on the status of marriage equality in New Hampshire and our plan for moving forward,.

May 21,  9:30 to noon

The Concord Unitarian Universalist Church, 274 Pleasant St., Concord

 

“for my wife…”

Tuesday, May 10,

7:00 pm film & speaker

Keene Public Library Auditorium, 60 Winter St, Keene, NH

Suggested donation $15 per person

The award winning documentary "for my wife…" chronicles the making of an activist for Marriage Equality. Charlene Strong was thrust into the spotlight after the tragic death of her wife, Kate. After facing this loss and the heartless discrimination of hospital and funeral home staff, Charlene decided to take a stand.


Senators Unveil Effort to Repeal DOMA

The Respect for Marriage Act would “restore the rights of all lawfully married couples – including tens of thousands of same-sex couples – to receive the benefits of marriage under federal law.”

Senator Jeanne Shaheen

“All lawfully married couples deserve to receive the benefits of marriage under federal law. That’s why today I co-sponsored legislation to repeal the discriminatory Defense Of Marriage Act. I was proud to vote to repeal the military’s discriminatory Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy in December and I will continue to ……work hard to lead on issues of civil rights and
equality.”