News (USA)

In effort to repeal same-sex marriage, NOM now supports civil unions

The National Organization for Marriage has endorsed a civil unions bill in New Hampshire, a stark departure from its well documented record of opposing any type of legal relationship for same-sex couples.

In a press release issued last week, the NOM announced it supports a bill sponsored by New Hampshire state Rep. David Bates (R- Windham) that calls for repealing the state’s same-sex marriage law and replace it with civil unions for any unmarried adults, including relatives.

A vote on the bill is expected on Wednesday.

“This is complete and total policy reversal coming from one of the nation’s most virulently anti-gay organizations,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “It smells like a Mitt Romney-style flip flop for short term gain. NOM’s phoniness and opportunism never cease to amaze.”

On March 12, NOM urged “the New Hampshire legislature to pass HB 437, compromise legislation to restore civil unions for same-sex couples…”

In 2005, NOM’s president, Brian Brown, told the Associated Press it was a “dark day” when Connecticut passed civil unions legislation.

In 2011, the organization opposed civil unions in Illinois, calling it a “direct threat” to marriage. Also last year Christopher Plante, a NOM executive, told The New York Times after the Rhode Island state senate approved a civil unions bill that it was “a disappointing and dangerous day.”

Meanwhile, the NOM continues its push to end marriage equality in New Hampshire.

“Washington, D.C.-based NOM is out of step with New Hampshire values,” added Solmonese. “Strong majorities of Granite Staters continue to oppose repeal of the state’s popular marriage law enacted more than two years ago. And watering down a marriage is hardly a ‘compromise.’”

Gov. John Lynch (D) has repeatedly warned lawmakers he will veto attempts to repeal the law, which he signed in 2009.

New Hampshire is one of six states — along with the District of Columbia — where same-sex marriage is legal. The others are New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, and Vermont. The bill to repeal the law is unpopular with voters, with recent polling reflecting 60 percent opposition.

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