TODAY: NH Senate to vote on marriage equality
April 29, 2009
Today's a big day in New Hampshire. As the New Hampshire Senate prepares to vote today on a marriage equality bill, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley has been working hard behind the scenes to secure the votes needed to pass the bill. HRC worked closely with Buckley, legislators, community groups and local leaders to help elect fair-minded majorities to both the New Hampshire House of Representatives and Senate in 2006. Those gains paved the way for the legislature to pass civil unions legislation in 2007. And now there's a real chance we'll see marriage equality legalized in the state less than two years later. That's right on time: A University of New Hampshire Survey Center Poll released this week found that 55 percent of New Hampshire residents support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, while 39 percent oppose doing so. National Field Director Marty Rouse has been working closely with Ray Buckley and other leaders in New Hampshire over the years, including on the marriage bill the Senate will vote on today.
Marty credited Ray for his hard work: New Hampshire's openly gay Democratic Chair is calling in every chit he can to win the vote later today. He met for over eight hours on Tuesday with the Senate Democratic Caucus trying to get the votes needed to pass the marriage bill. Ray has been quietly building a career in politics for many years in New Hampshire. As an openly gay man, he has more than paid his dues in New Hampshire and in a political party, working hard and being dedicated to making change slowly, smartly, and surely. This vote is surely emotionally wrenching for him, but if we have an historic win today, Ray Buckley deserves a great share of the credit. His has worked his way up, and today he will see what that has earned him, fairly or not. My hat's off to him, win or lose. Our community and our country is better off because Ray has always tried to make life better for all, with no grandstanding, but with plenty slinging shots his way. Good luck today, Ray.
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