Same-sex marriage is all up to Gov. Lynch in New Hampshire
Posted on May 8, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
Gov. John Lynch is facing “a vote of conscience” on whether to allow gay marriage in New Hampshire.
That’s the assessment of Andy Smith, director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, who said he does not believe the popular governor will be hurt politically no matter what his decision.
The House passed the gay marriage bill Wednesday, paving the way for it to land on Lynch’s desk. He has three choices facing him: He can veto the bill, sign it or allow it to become law without his signature.
He has stated publicly he believes the state’s civil union law passed in 2007 provides all the legality needed for gay couples and he doesn’t personally support gay marriage. He has also said he has not made up his mind as governor how he will come down on the issue.
No matter what his decision, said Smith, he’ll be just fine.
“He’s not in a position where it matters to him electorally. He’s got a 70-percent approval rating. He can say whatever. He’s got his own independent political machine that’s outside the Democratic party,” he said. “If he signs it, the Republicans will gripe, but they have never been able to field a credible candidate against him. If he vetoes it, the Democrats are still going to vote for him (in 2010).”
Smith said the votes in the House and the Senate — 178-167 and 13-11, respectively — are not dissimilar to state residents’ feeling on the issue. In the most recent poll conducted by the center, 55 percent favored gay marriage and 39 opposed it. The latter number has trended down slightly since the center started polling several years ago, he said. Initially, 42 percent were in opposition. See Same-sex marriage is all up to lynch
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