February 17, 2011
Update: Here’s a summary by an Associated Press writer.
Update: Zandra Rice-Hawkins, ED of Granite State Progress, kindly just sent the following over e-mail to me in response to a “what happens next” inquiry. I thought it would be informative for us all.
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.
Update:With a tip of the hat to Ronnie in the comments, this ad is running in today’s Manchester Union Leader, from a conservative Marine.
Update: A sea of red marriage supporters:
Update: Back. 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!
Update: I have to get on a plane for the next two hours or so, but you can follow @NHFreedom2Marry, which is tweeting a good amount from the hearing, on Twitter.
Update: According to every person on the ground sending back updates from GSP, NHFTM, HRC and friends, anti-equality folks, aside from Maggie, simply didn’t turn out. Plus, hundreds of pro-equality folks went. The room is a sea of red. Contrast in organizing and perhaps more.
Update: I’m working off my PDA while in transit, and told the video may not start playing yet, but live video stream is set up to be here.
Update: Interestingly, at the open of the hearing, Rep Bates, the lead sponsor of one anti-marriage measure, calls for retention, or putting on hold, of the bill until next year (h/t NHFTM).
Update: This could go for some time. The chairman warns that he will hold the committee in session until “the wee hours” if necessary.
Update- My friend Kevin Miniter, who is up in NH with Fred Karger’s campaign, reports at least 400 there- overwhelmingly equality advocates.
Update- Maggie is also there.
Photos coming in:
Updates will scroll from the top
By Adam Bink
This morning, starting between 10 and 10:30 AM EST, will be the big Public Hearing in New Hampshire to consider three different pieces of legislation to repeal the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in the state. For more background, I wrote a post on Tuesday outlining what was under consideration.
For those who have never seen what an event of this kind looks like, and its importance, watch this:
That was Mr. Philip Spooner testifying at the public hearing in Maine. Over 4,000 people showed up- so many that the legislature had to move the hearing to a larger auditorium. It was a watershed moment on the bill’s path to passage. We must make today’s event a watershed moment in defense of equality.
Several of our colleagues at Granite State Progress and HRC will be sending back dispatches throughout the day, which I’ll be sorting through and posting here (NOM bus tour style!). We’ll also likely have a live streaming link. I will be traveling through most of the morning, but updates will come throughout the afternoon. Please help out your fellow P8TTers by updating what you see in the comments for those unable to watch or listen live.
For your reading interest before the hearing starts, Courage Campaign, in partnership with Granite State Progress, has collected over 50 written testimonies over the past two days to be submitted for the record at today’s hearing. I’ve pasted many of them below with names redacted, but with location left in. I was struck by the volume of heartfelt testimonies submitted for the public record by straight allies. Thank you, my friends. It is heartening to have such kind people at our movement’s back.
If you’re a New Hampshirite and haven’t yet submitted a written testimony, you can do so here. Some testimonies are below.