Slicing and Dicing the NH Gay Marriage Repeal (HB437) Vote

The attempted repeal of gay marriage in NH has failed.  Here are a few ways to slice the roll call vote:

Party Votes

Democrats voting against gay marriage*: 1 (Roger Berube of Sommersworth)

Democrats voting for gay marriage: 92

Republicans voting against gay marriage: 115

Republicans voting for gay marriage: 119

Vote Switching

The votes above and the votes  that are reported in the news are of the final vote on ITL.  There were several previous votes, including a simple vote on whether the repeal ought to pass.  There were 17 21 reps who voted for the repeal but then voted to kill the bill.  There are two reasons to do this.   One is pragmatic – since the vote to pass the bill already failed, why not vote to kill it?  That’s the procedural thing to do.  The other reason could be clever political maneuvering – the vote that gets reported is the last one and conceivably a Rep. can be on both sides of the bill come November, depending on the audience.  Here are the switchers:

This first group voted against the repeal, but then voted to not kill the bill.  One supposes they wanted more debate or an amendment?  I don’t think these are particularly meaningful.


Belvin, William Republican Hillsborough 6
Chirichiello, Brian Republican Rockingham 5
Davenport, Joshua Republican Rockingham 12
Flanders, Donald Republican Belknap 4
Hunt, John Republican Cheshire 7
Johnson, Jane Republican Cheshire 6
Kingsbury, Robert Republican Belknap 4
Packard, Sherman Republican Rockingham 3
Pilliod, James Republican Belknap 5
Ritter, Glenn Republican Rockingham 14


This next group is the more interesting one: Reps who voted ‘against gay marriage’ before they voted ‘for’ it:


Bradley, Lester Republican Grafton 4 Yea
Brown, Julie Republican Strafford 1 Yea
Coffey, James Republican Hillsborough 3 Yea
Devine, James Republican Rockingham 7 Yea
Eaton, Stephanie Republican Grafton 1 Yea
Emerton, Larry Republican Hillsborough 7 Yea
Erickson, Duane Republican Hillsborough 25 Yea
Graham, John Republican Hillsborough 18 Yea
Hagan, Joseph Republican Rockingham 7 Yea
Hawkins, Kenneth Republican Hillsborough 18 Yea
Katsakiores, Phyllis Republican Rockingham 5 Yea
Malone, Robert Republican Belknap 5 Yea
McGuire, Dan Republican Merrimack 8 Yea
Newton, Clifford Republican Strafford 1 Yea
Parsons, Robbie Republican Strafford 3 Yea
Proulx, Mark Republican Hillsborough 15 Yea
Reilly, Harold Republican Grafton 8 Yea
Remick, William Republican Coos 2 Yea
Sanders, Elisabeth Republican Rockingham 7 Yea
Terrio, Ross Republican Hillsborough 14 Yea
Vita, Carol Republican Strafford 3 Yea


By the simple tally of the final vote, one would conclude that a majority of Republicans voted to protect gay marriage in NH. But by including those who first voted to remove gay marriage, it becomes clear that a majority of voting Republican Reps. in NH are against gay marriage.

Adding in the vote switchers, in both directions ( counting those who voted ‘nay’ on OTP then ‘nay’ on ITL as ‘for’ and those who voted ‘yay’ on OTP then ‘yay’ on ITL as ‘against’, for +- 11), yields:

Republicans who voted against gay marriage: 126

Republicans voting for gay marriage: 108

I think this is a more correct tally than just the ITL vote. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – without a veto-proof majority, this whole exercise on the Republicans’ part was a gift to the Democrats come November. Gay rights aside, they betray their political futures and their constituents by choosing to give up seats in November.

Liberty Rep. Votes

OK, that’s now the whole house voted – how about the pro-liberty reps (as defined by the top-25 spots on the 2011 NHLA Liberty Rating)?

Name District Town Grade Vote
Brown, Paul Rockingham 2 Raymond A+ Pro Gay Marriage
Cohn, Seth Merrimack 6 Canterbury A+ Pro Gay Marriage
DeJong, Cameron Hillsborough 9 Manchester A Pro Gay Marriage
Greazzo, Phil Hillsborough 17 Manchester A Pro Gay Marriage
Malone, Robert Belknap 5 Alton Bay A Pro Gay Marriage
Maltz, Jonathan Hillsborough 27 Hudson A Pro Gay Marriage
Murphy, Keith Hillsborough 18 Bedford A Pro Gay Marriage
Newton, Clifford Strafford 1 Rochester A Pro Gay Marriage
Sanborn, Laurie Merrimack 5 Henniker A Pro Gay Marriage
Seaworth, G. Brian Merrimack 7 Pembroke A+ Pro Gay Marriage
Simmons, Tammy Hillsborough 18 Manchester A Pro Gay Marriage
Tasker, Kyle Rockingham 1 Northwood A Pro Gay Marriage
Vaillancourt, Steve Hillsborough 15 Manchester A+ Pro Gay Marriage
Manuse, Andrew Rockingham 5 Derry A No Vote
Warden, Mark Hillsborough 7 Goffstown A+ No Vote
Holden, Frank Hillsborough 4 Lyndeborough A- Excused
Okerman, Richard Rockingham 4 Windham A Excused
Bowers, Spec Sullivan 3 Georges Mills A Anti Gay Marriage
DeLemus, Susan Strafford 1 Rochester A Anti Gay Marriage
Giuda, J. Brandon Merrimack 7 Chichester A Anti Gay Marriage
Jones, Kyle Strafford 1 Rochester A+ Anti Gay Marriage
Jones, Laura Strafford 1 Rochester A Anti Gay Marriage
McGuire, Dan Merrimack 8 Epsom A Anti Gay Marriage**
Tregenza, Norman Carroll 2 Silver Lake A Anti Gay Marriage
Vita, Lucien Strafford 3 Middleton A Anti Gay Marriage

Do with it what you will.

  • The actual vote was a yay/nay vote on an ITL (inexpedient to legislate) measure, which means it should not become law, on a bill to repeal gay marriage. So a ‘yay’ vote is a vote for not enacting a repeal of gay marriage. So, a for-against-against vote is for gay marriage since the double-negatives cancel out. Just so that’s clear to right-minded humans, it’s simplified above.

** vote for OTP before ITL


Update 1: 2012-03-23:23:52 – added vote-switchers

Update 2: 2012-03-24:00:46 – fixed switcher count