Yesterday, the state of New Hampshire, which has been marrying same sex couples for two years, voted down an extraordinary attempt to repeal that law in its state house by a vote of 211 to 116.
That, in and of itself, is somewhat astonishing: The votes against the repeal almost doubled the votes for it.
But here’s the most spectacular part of this story: New Hampshire has a Republican majority in both state chambers. In the house, there’s a 189 vote Republican advantage. Gov. John Lynch is a Democrat who’d threatened to veto the repeal if it ever made it to his desk but the GOP, had it been willing, could have easily overriden it.
Instead, 118 Republicans — 118! — voted against the repeal. Let me make this as clear as possible: 118 Republicans voted to continue to allow the state of New Hampshire to marry same sex couples.
(And just for the record, the Dems weren’t 100 percent solid: Roger Berubé, a seven-term legislator from Strafford, was the sole Democrat to vote for repeal.)
New Hampshire was the first state in the Union to recognize same sex marriage on its own, without a court order or the threat of one. It’s now the first to affirm that right across party lines.