Marriage Equality House Concurrence Open Thread

Today the House takes up the Senate’s amended version of marriage for concurrence (heh – Latin for “running together”; sounds like “marriage” to me!). Says Jim:

House Bill 436 will be on the House floor this Wednesday, May 6th.  We will ask the House to “concur” with the excellent amendments put onto the bill by the Senate.  If we are able to earn concurrence, the bill then will be on its way to Governor John Lynch, who we hope will continue to listen to the growing support that marriage equality has received during all these months.

I’m pretty much sending every positive thought I can muster to Terie Norelli and Jim Splaine and all those Democrats, Republicans, and libertarians who voted for it the first time around (and those thinking about it now with the amended version). Helps to calm my nerves!

My “real life” obligations will keep me from following this closely today, so consider this a marriage equality House concurrence open thread. Please add what you hear and observe in the comments section.

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25 Responses to Marriage Equality House Concurrence Open Thread

  1. Kathy Sullivan 2 May 6, 2009 at 6:43 pm #

    My state senator, Betsi Devries, voted to support the equality bill, and now, Doug Kruse, who ran against her for state senate in ’08 and whom the Republicans were trying to get to run against her for alderman in Ward 8 this fall, announced last night he is moving to Florida. Not only does this eliminate a once and future opponent, under Manchester’s charter it also means Betsi gets to nominate Kruse’s replacement as Ward 8 school committeeman until the next person is elected and sworn in. Sweet irony (and good riddance to an anti-education member of the school board).

    So, good things happen to people who vote in support of equality!

    • Doug Kruse May 10, 2009 at 10:30 am #

      Thank you for your gracious comments, Kathy.  I will miss representing you on the School Board.

      I got a kick out of your description of me as being “anti-education,” especially given that the Manchester teachers’ union endorsed me in 2005 and 2007.  They also declined to endorse Betsi DeVries against me in her state senate re-election bid last fall, despite urging by the NH Education Association.

      It is almost unheard of for a teachers’ union to endorse a conservative for school board — and even more unheard of for them not to endorse an incumbent Democratic state senator over a conservative challenger.  Apparently the teachers in Manchester’s classrooms don’t think I’m “anti-education.”

      And, as you may recall, after my first term in office, I earned more votes in ward 8 than Betsi DeVries, Dan O’Neil, Bob Baines, Mike Lopez, and even Frank Guinta in the next two city elections (2005 and 2007), even with my race being at the very bottom of the ballot.  Moreover, in both of those elections, there were almost as many ward 8 Democratic households with Kruse yard signs as GOP households with them.  Let’s not forget, too, that lifelong Democrat and seven-term ward 8 school board member Sandy Paradis was also a supporter of mine.  

      Anyway, sorry I won’t be knocking on your door again this summer.  I know how much you’ll miss me.  ;-)

      All the best,
      Doug Kruse

      • Kathy Sullivan 2 May 10, 2009 at 5:07 pm #

        Lest anyone think Mr. Kruse was pro-education, he was not. He did not have the support of the rank and file teachesrs.  His endorsement by the MEA was the result of the internal municipal politics that defy logic in every community.  As for yard signs, the experience of one of my neighbors was typical. When my husband asked why they had a Kruse sign on the edge of his property, the neighbor said, “I thought you out that up.” Turned out someone else in the house had been asked by a co-worker as a favor – none of them knew who Kruse was, and the sign came down.

        Thankfully, when Mr. Kruse ran for the senate against Betsi, the voters of the district rejected him. His “sell by” date had arrived.

        • Doug Kruse May 11, 2009 at 3:52 am #

          Kathy -

          What was the address for that yard sign you are referring to?  (You can email me personally at if you prefer.)  It is simply not possible that a sign went up without clear permission from the person at the address.  

          That’s because during each of my three school board campaigns, I personally asked — face to face — the person at home for permission.  That even includes Mr. (Peter) King, Mrs. Loughlin, Mr. Dutile, Mr. Ciechon, and many other strong Democrats throughout ward 8 who supported me and had my sign in their yard.

          I put up every sign myself and took every one of them down myself, too.  Nobody else was putting out “Kruse for School Board” signs but me in those races.

          Anytime one of my signs went missing from a property, I would personally replace it.  If it went missing more than once, I would knock on the person’s door again and re-confirm that he/she still wants a sign.  So if anyone told your husband that they did not directly agree to having my sign in their yard, it might be because they just didn’t want to deal with any heat from spiteful party bosses for having a Republican’s sign in their yard.

          You can disagree with me on issues and you can resent that I won re-election in your own ward with strong bi-partisan support both times.  But it is simply not true to claim that people had “Kruse for School Board” signs in their yards without having given me clear and direct permission themselves.

          With respect, you are just plain wrong about the yard signs.  (Just as you are about rank-and-file teachers, by the way.  Ask Ellen Healy and Scott McGilvray.)


          • Kathy Sullivan 2 May 11, 2009 at 6:11 am #

            As you are about most things.  I didn’t say is was in your school board race; it was in your senate race. As for the rank and file, the night you announced your imminent resignation, a teacher who was at the meeting left to call people from a cell phone to spread the good news throughout the education community. So, no, Mr. Kruse, the rank and file teachers really don’t like you.

  2. Blanco May 6, 2009 at 6:57 pm #

    I’ll be at school unfortunately, but I’d like to keep this in my thoughts. :)

    Man, both New Hampshire and Maine are doing this today! I both we both win but to be honest, I hope New Hampshire gets equality just a little sooner. ;)

  3. Impygirl May 6, 2009 at 7:22 pm #

    It was an automated call asking me if I “supported marriage between a man and a woman”.  I was making dinner, trying to do several things and not really focusing, so when I heard the question, I thought for certain I had misheard it.  I responded “What?!” and the automated voice said something like: “We will put that answer as no opinion” and it disconnected.

    Has anyone else heard of these calls?

    • Kathy Sullivan 2 May 6, 2009 at 7:41 pm #

      The anti’s are making a massive phone call effort with these robo calls.

      • Jennifer Daler May 6, 2009 at 8:48 pm #

        received one of these from the “National Institute of Marriage” and is quite upset by it. He thinks it was a push poll, and I tend to agree, according to this definition on “Wiki”

        A push poll is a political campaign technique in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll. In a push poll, large numbers of respondents are contacted, and little or no effort is made to collect and analyze response data. Instead, the push poll is a form of telemarketing-based propaganda and rumor mongering, masquerading as a poll.

        From my friend

        The way the questions were asked where deceptive and misleading, and tried to force me to give an answer that could be used to as statistical data about how many people support the marriage equality bill in NH.

        This is not the way to win friends and influence people. It’s angering moderates and others who have no ax to grind on this issue one way or the other.  

        • beverlywoods May 6, 2009 at 9:31 pm #

          and also may be illegal if you are on the Do Not Call list (as I am, and I got one too.) It’s NOM/CPR – our old friends at “Cornered Falsity Research”.

      • JonnyBBad May 6, 2009 at 9:32 pm #
  4. John Hosty-Grinnell May 6, 2009 at 7:25 pm #

    Yesterday Maine had a live feed of the vote, will NH have anything like this?

  5. John Hosty-Grinnell May 6, 2009 at 7:27 pm #


    Starts at 1:00PM

  6. Rep. Jim Splaine May 6, 2009 at 7:30 pm #

    …and it’s been a long, long road.  The House is likely to have a vote on concurrence with the Senate on House Bill 436 by mid-afternoon.  We’re well prepared, but we know we have hills to climb.

    I cannot over-emphasize enough that it is close, and anyone who reads this and supports HB 436 would help if you can make a last-minute plea to your House Representative, even if you already have done so and even if you know he/she supports the bill — they’ll be able to tell others they’re still hearing from constituents.  

    So if you live in their district, please E-Mail (House members check their E-Mails during the day, or call (they check their messages)!

    You can also call the House Democrats Office right now at 271-2136, or the House Republican Office at 271-3665.  The assistant would be pleased to write your note and deliver to your State Representative, especially if you are a constitutent.  

    HB 436 needs your help today.  

    • John Hosty-Grinnell May 6, 2009 at 7:46 pm #

      I’ve contacted you twice over HB436 by email and never gotten a response. How do we know calling will matter? If you’re the sponsor of this bill and even you won’t get back to people on it, how do we know others who are less vested are listening?

      • Rep. Jim Splaine May 6, 2009 at 7:52 pm #

        …I have spent thousands of hours on this issue these past eight months, and I’ve received thousands of E-Mails.  I’m already “on board with” HB 436, so I often don’t respond to every E-Mail I get in support, and not many of those in opposition.  Organizing this cause has been enormous.  

        But please do know that your work is effective when you contact State Representatives, and they keep mental count of how many calls and E-Mails they receive on all issues.  A lot of people have worked to get us to this point, and it takes people like you speaking out and contacting especially the legislator(s) who represent you in your town or city.  

        • John Hosty-Grinnell May 6, 2009 at 8:49 pm #

          I belong to several groups in the Boston area like “Join the Impact” that wanted to help out but weren’t able to because of the lack of organized effort in NH. It is a matter of too little too late, and I hope this vote doesn’t go south because people didn’t have time to talk to the people that did.

          • Kathy Sullivan 2 May 7, 2009 at 3:25 am #

            I’ll expand on my prickliness:

            Jim Splaine is a volunteer legislator who has worked really hard on this bill, along with a lot of other people. He only has to answer to his constituents, not someone from out of state who pops up on the day of the second vote in the House to tell us NH yokels that we aren’t organized enough. Jim Splaine’s time working to convince others in the legislature to vote for the bill, and to convince NH supporters to voice their support, was time well spent.

      • Kathy Sullivan 2 May 7, 2009 at 1:15 am #

        This comment makes me feel prickly.

  7. John Hosty-Grinnell May 6, 2009 at 9:18 pm #

    If any of you live in the Salem area you should contact your legislators right away on HB436, almost all of them are against the bill! Rep. Mary Griffon didn’t even seem to know what I was talking about when I reached her at home.

    They are not taking phone testimony at the offices, but they are talking faxed testimony. It’s not too late to make a difference!

  8. Jack Mitchell May 6, 2009 at 9:24 pm #

    I’m getting e-mails, using MyBO listserves, from the new volunteer coordinator about an upcoming forum with OFA Director Mitch Stewart:

    I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to a Grassroots Organizing Forum taking place on Saturday, May 16 at SEIU Hall in Boston from 9am-3pm. This forum is a chance for you become involved in significant initiatives to support President Obama’s agenda, share ideas directly with OFA national staff, and network with others from around the Commonwealth. Mitch Stewart, the National Director of Organizing for America, will be seeking your input into OFA’s direction. Please see the attached flier for more information.

    Bonus: David Plouffe will be at the state con in Springfield.

  9. NH Ex-pat May 6, 2009 at 11:22 pm #

    Maine Public Television reports that Governor Baldacci of Maine signed the Marriage Equality Bill into law.

    Baldacci says:

    “I did not come to this decision lightly or in haste.”  Baldacci said his views on the issue have evolved over time.  “In the past, I opposed gay marriage while supporting the idea of civil unions,” he said. “I have come to believe that this is a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law, and that a civil union is not equal to civil marriage.”

    Somebody needs to get this to the marriage equality backers in the House ASAP as well as Governor Lynch! WOW! What a BIG surprise!!!!

  10. RealNRH May 7, 2009 at 2:00 am #

    3:59 PM, the Senate message is raised for consideration!

    • beverlywoods May 7, 2009 at 3:08 am #


  11. steve vaillancourt May 7, 2009 at 11:46 pm #

    Before Kathy the S gets too carried away here, she should look to her back yard.  She and Ray Buckley and I have one thing in common; we’re all from the same ward.  Of the three Reps in the ward, two are Dems, and neither voted for the bill.  Dem Mike Farley was absent for the 112th vote in a row!  I know, it’s tough to believe but true!  Dem Tommy the K voted against the bill yet again! I voted for the bill again, Kathy and Ray’s only Rep to do so.  If you look at the 16 Dems who voted against the bill, note that 8 are from Kathy and Ray’s back yard, Manchester.  And the only senator who voted against this bill, Lou, is from Manchester.  As always, you don’t have to thank me Kathy, but lets get the facts right.  Doug Kruse won by an overwhelming margin as I recall.  I don’t support his neocon views either but voters of Ward 8 apparently do, something Betsi should keep in mind when she chooses a school board replacement–she could always go with anti-gay Tommy the K or No Show Farley

    Steve V (Kathy the S’s least favorite gay marriage supporter)

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