New Hampshire

NH lawmaker spending own money on campaign to repeal gay marriage

David Bates

David Bates

CONCORD, N.H. — A New Hampshire lawmaker is waging a one-man effort to repeal the state’s same-sex marriage law, and has launched a direct mail campaign to garner support of House Bill 437, which would restore “traditional marriage” between a man and a woman in the state.

David Bates

Rep. David Bates (R-Windham) is moving forward his effort to repeal gay marriage, despite the fact that House legislative leadership announced last week they will focus on the state’s economic growth and education initiatives in the 2012 session.

Despite all the national lobbyist money floating around on the gay marriage repeal effort, Bates, the prime sponsor and driving force behind the bill, is committed to waging his own campaign. Those letters are going across the state, targeting any district where the representative is on the fence or has views unknown. And they’re paid for entirely out of his pocket, he said.

“I’m serious about the issue,” he said Wednesday outside the State House. Bates, who is listed on the letter in his capacity as chairman as of the House Election Law Committee, declined to say how much the statewide mailings are costing him, but “it’s not an insignificant amount.”

This is not the first time Bates his pumped thousands of dollars of his own money into an anti-gay marriage campaign. In 2010, he headed up the “Let NH Vote” movement to rally support for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

Bates’ bill, which has 11 co-sponsors, is not yet scheduled for a floor vote, though it will likely be taken up in the coming weeks.

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