Gay marriage bill signed into law in New Hampshire

  • iGator

    Posts: 150

    Jun 04, 2009 12:32 AM GMT
    CONCORD, N.H. – New Hampshire became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage after the Senate and House passed key language on religious rights and Gov. John Lynch — who personally opposes gay marriage — signed the legislation Wednesday afternoon.

    After rallies outside the Statehouse by both sides in the morning, the last of three bills in the package went to the Senate, which approved it 14-10 Wednesday afternoon.

    Cheers from the gallery greeted the key vote in the House, which passed it 198-176. Surrounded by gay marriage supporters, Lynch signed the bill about an hour later.

    "Today, we are standing up for the liberties of same-sex couples by making clear that they will receive the same rights, responsibilities — and respect — under New Hampshire law," Lynch said.

    Lynch, a Democrat, had promised a veto if the law didn't clearly spell out that churches and religious groups would not be forced to officiate at gay marriages or provide other services. Legislators made the changes.
    Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont and Iowa already allow gay marriage, though opponents hope to overturn Maine's law with a public vote.
    California briefly allowed gay marriage before a public vote banned it; a court ruling grandfathered in couples who were already married.
    The New Hampshire law will take effect Jan. 1, exactly two years after the state began recognizing civil unions.

    The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, elected in New Hampshire in 2003 as the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, was among those celebrating the new law.
    "It's about being recognized as whole people and whole citizens," Robinson said.

    "There are a lot of people standing here who when we grew up could not have imagined this," he said. "You can't imagine something that is simply impossible. It's happened, in our lifetimes."
    Opponents, mainly Republicans, objected on grounds including the fragmented process.
    "It is no surprise that the Legislature finally passed the last piece to the gay marriage bill today. After all, when you take 12 votes on five iterations of the same issue, you're bound to get it passed sooner or later," said Kevin Smith, executive director of gay marriage opponent Cornerstone Policy Research.

    The revised bill added a sentence specifying that all religious organizations, associations or societies have exclusive control over their religious doctrines, policies, teachings and beliefs on marriage.
    It also clarified that church-related organizations that serve charitable or educational purposes are exempt from having to provide insurance and other benefits to same-sex spouses of employees.
    The House rejected the language Lynch suggested two weeks ago by two votes. Wednesday's vote was on a revised bill negotiated with the Senate.
    Supporters had considered Wednesday their last chance to pass a bill this year.

    The law will establish civil and religious marriage licenses and allow each party to the marriage to be identified as bride, groom or spouse. Same-sex couples already in civil unions will automatically be assumed to have a "civil marriage."
    Churches will be able to decide whether to conduct religious marriages for same-sex couples. Civil marriages would be available to both heterosexual and same-sex couples.
    New Hampshire's decision leaves Rhode Island as the only New England state not to allow same-sex marriages. A bill there is expected to fail this year, as similar ones have in previous years.
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    Jun 04, 2009 12:51 AM GMT
    It's gonna become bizarre when the country is made up of gay-marriage states and non-gay-marriage states. Marriage was left to the states cuz it was a nothing-burger of a "state's right." Who knew it would come to this? ... icon_eek.gif

    I expect the US Supreme Court to sweep this away in one fell swoop for the whole country.
  • iGator

    Posts: 150

    Jun 04, 2009 2:12 AM GMT
    While it would be nice if the Supreme Court would take of this for us in one felt swoop...I'm nervous because of the conservativeness of the court right now.

    With Sotomayor, we are replacing another liberal judge, keeping the configuration of the court the same (thanks W).

    Now that you write about it...the non-marriage/marriage states sounds like the slave/free states...eek!!!
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    Jun 04, 2009 5:38 AM GMT
    GREAT NEWS!!!! actually I read it earlier on huffington post. icon_biggrin.gif

    Now if DOMA could just be undone, you would stand a better chance of carrying your marriage with you from another state.
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    Jun 04, 2009 5:47 AM GMT
    I am SO proud of my home state! Live Free or Die! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jun 04, 2009 5:49 AM GMT
    ManVaKar saidI am SO proud of my home state! Live Free or Die! icon_biggrin.gif
    Now don't go out and willy nilly marry someone just for the fun of it! icon_lol.gif
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    Jun 04, 2009 6:21 AM GMT
    This is exactly what my argument has been all along and hopefully THIS will be a great example when future states are up against gay marriage. You can allow gays to marry without changing religious doctrine.

    A religious institution has every right to believe and teach what it will. The people of this country have to right to believe in what they will. If a person/religion believe that the world was created in seven days, that marriage is between opposite genders only, that man was created as is, whatever. They can believe that.

    But a non-religious specific government has the right/obligation to teach and allow what is scientific and humane. Via the big band, equal marriage, evolution, whatever...

    I'm glad.
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    Jun 04, 2009 6:39 AM GMT
    Lots of buzz on Real Jock about this...I've seen about 7 different threads about New Hampshire today....icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jun 04, 2009 10:17 AM GMT
    California and New York like to think of themselves as the leading states in the U.S. The national press too often takes the attitude that it only really matters if it happens in California or New York City or Washington, D.C.
    I think the rest of the U.S. could learn something from New England. It is leading the way towards a better and more just society for all citizens.
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    Jun 04, 2009 3:07 PM GMT
    OutdoorMutt saidCalifornia and New York like to think of themselves as the leading states in the U.S.
    icon_eek.gif We do?

    OutdoorMutt saidI think the rest of the U.S. could learn something from New England. It is leading the way towards a better and more just society for all citizens.
    I am all for people learning about inclusiveness and equality for all Americans. It only makes sense that this change would begin from the heart of the early U.S. where independence was in part born.
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    Jun 04, 2009 3:11 PM GMT
    now if only California would get back on board.... icon_sad.gif
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    Jun 04, 2009 5:22 PM GMT
    OutdoorMutt saidCalifornia and New York like to think of themselves as the leading states in the U.S.


    Live with NYS government and tell me if you still think that.
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    Jun 04, 2009 5:23 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie said
    OutdoorMutt saidCalifornia and New York like to think of themselves as the leading states in the U.S.


    Live with NYS government and tell me if you still think that.


    "I" do not think that. Never have.
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    Jun 04, 2009 5:26 PM GMT
    New England economy could see gay-marriage boost

    http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSTRE5535JT20090604

    BOSTON (Reuters) - The expansion of legal gay marriage across New England could deliver an economic windfall by attracting a youthful "creative class" of workers to a region with an aging population.

    In the past year, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine have joined Massachusetts, which in 2004 became the first U.S. state to allow same-sex weddings, in blessing gay and lesbian weddings.

    That makes the region the first in the United States where same-sex couples can move from one state to another while retaining marriage benefits.

    New England has long burnished an image of tolerance. Early European settlers in the 17th-century escaped religious persecution, although they imposed their own stern doctrines and sometimes expelled dissenters. Later, the region led the right for the abolition of black slavery.

    Five out of the region's six states now endorse gay weddings after New Hampshire legalized same-sex marriage on Wednesday, leaving Rhode Island as the sole holdout.

    The spread of gay marriage could serve as a recruiting tool for universities, health care companies and financial services firms that dominate the region's economy, experts said.

    "It will be a selling point when it comes to trying to lure people with same-sex partners who are being wooed for a job," said M.V. Lee Badgett, a University of Massachusetts economist who studies gay and lesbian issues.

    Same-sex couples in the so-called "creative class" were 2.5 times more likely to move to Massachusetts in the three years following the approval of same-sex marriage than they had been in the three prior years, according to a study released in May by the Williams Institute of the University of California.

    That study also found that migrants relocating to the state were more likely to be younger and female than before same-sex marriage was approved.

    Research shows that heterosexual members of the "creative class" -- a group that includes financial whizzes, software programmers and educators -- tend to regard states that allow gay marriages as more appealing places to live.

    "It broadly suggests you have an environment in which people who are seen as different are accepted," said Gary Gates, the UCLA demographer who was the study's lead author.

    Outside New England, the only other U.S. state to allow gay marriage is Iowa. California for six months last year allowed same-sex weddings before voters put an end to the practice.



  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14341

    Jun 06, 2009 3:19 PM GMT
    This is awesome news, New Hampshire's yellow dog democratic governor finally manned up and signed the gay marriage bill into law. It is about time. Anyone want to bet on the next state to legalize gay marriage. icon_biggrin.gif