House Republicans in New Hampshire have decided to abandon plans to repeal the state’s gay marriage law this year, saying that issues surrounding the economy and jobs must come before “social issues” like same-sex marriage.
This news came from House Republican Leader D.J. Bettencourt who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday and confirmed that the economy and employment would be the focus of the GOP’s agenda over the coming legislative year and that two same-sex marriage repeal bills would now not be taken up.
From The Associated Press:
House Republican Leader D.J. Bettencourt confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday that jobs and the economy will be the top priorities on the House GOP agenda to be announced Thursday, which the GOP will use as its policymaking scorecard for the next two years.
“The social issues must take a back seat,” said Bettencourt, R-Salem.
Bettencourt said he met with House Republicans to get a consensus on an agenda and “to a person, everyone was in agreement we have to immediately get to work on the budget, retirement and reform education.”
He said there was widespread agreement that social issues would have to come later.
He said those reforms won’t happen if Republicans get distracted by other issues. He said issues like gay marriage were not the primary reasons voters replaced the Democratic majority in the House with a Republican one, he said.
“We cannot allow ourselves … where we campaigned on one set of issues and governed on another set of issues,” he said.
However, the Republican leader would not be drawn on whether the repeal would be preserved in committee where the legislation can not be killed but can be retained over the first year of a two-year session so as to be acted on in the latter half of that period.
New Hampshire’s marriage equality law passed in 2009 when the Legislature was under Democratic control, much to the annoyance of social conservative groups like the National Organization for Marriage.
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