Culture Club
It is a social conservative’s worst nightmare. In the past week, the New Hampshire House of Representatives has passed legislation legalizing gay marriage and medical marijuana, and repealing the state’s death penalty. Throw in the defeat of two parental notification bills on abortion, and you have legislative action on a quartet of issues worthy of even the most protracted culture war.
All of this could shape up to be a fascinating political test for Governor John Lynch. While it is still a bit too early to tell what will happen in the Senate, prior statements by Gov. Lynch suggest he would oppose all three pieces of legislation as approved by the House. But the governor is famous for keeping his decision cards close to the vest, so it is difficult to say what he will do with absolute certainty.  Lynch has been most direct on the death penalty issue, saying previously that he would veto any attempt at repeal.
During the past two election cycles, I have occasionally heard state Republican elites float the argument that despite Gov. Lynch’s reputation for moderation and bipartisanship, the governor would ultimately be unable to resist being sucked into the left-spinning vortex of the newly-minted Democratic state legislature. If this legislative vortex theory proves correct, then progressives will have made a remarkable impact on the state’s cultural identity in just a few short years of legislative control. If the theory is wrong, however, and Lynch vetoes any relevant legislation coming out of the Senate, then the governor may have some unhappy fellow Democrats on his hands.


Posted On: 03-28-2009 11:51:11 by Jim Splaine
Fighting discrimination and supporting equality isn't a culture war. Neither is supporting the health and quality of life of our residents, or for saying no to the death penalty so that we're not in league with China, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, and Texas in having the death penalty. I've been involved in the discussions about equality for decades. In 1973 we debated on the floor of the House the Equal Rights Amendment -- I supported it, to say no to discrimination against women. I supported our efforts to mainstream and prevent discrimination against our mentally and physically challenged residents in the 1980s. I sponsored the Civil Unions Law two years ago, and now the marriage equality law this year, with the same intent in mind: to say no to discrimination against our residents. None of those things are part of a culture war. It's not about spinning left. It's about fighting for New Hampshire values.

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