New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch spoke out Tuesday against an effort by state Republicans to repeal the state's same-sex marriage law, pledging during his State of the State address to veto any bill that strips some Granite State residents of their civil rights.
The state Legislature is set to vote on a measure this week that would repeal a 2009 law that made New Hampshire the fifth state to legalize gay marriage. Although Republicans currently hold veto-proof majorities in both chambers, the Concord Monitor reports the same-sex marriage repeal is far from a sure bet in a state where Republicans -- often hailing from a variety of backgrounds and beliefs -- take their slogan of live free or die to heart.
Lynch, a Democrat, echoed that sentiment on Tuesday when discussing the Legislature's upcoming vote.
New Hampshire has a long and proud tradition of fighting for the rights of all of our people. We have a tradition of leaving people alone, to pursue their own happiness. As governor, I intend to uphold that centuries-old tradition and I will stand firm against any legislation that will strip any of our citizens of their civil rights, Lynch said, to a round of applause.
Although Republicans may have enough votes to repeal marriage equality in the state, several lawmakers told the Concord Monitor House Republicans would not have the two-thirds majority necessary to override a veto.
I know for a fact, based on people I've talked to, that if Gov. Lynch vetoes it, that veto is not override-able, Rep. Seth Cohn, a Canterbury Republican, told the newspaper. Cohn added that he plans to introduce an amendment to the House that would legalize civil unions for all couples, but leave marriage to churches and religious institutions.
The state's Republican Liberty Caucus, a libertarian-leaning group that endorsed 107 House members elected in 2010, reportedly supports Cohn's approach. The group has not taken an official position on the repeal bill.