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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New Hampshire Passes Gay Marriage Bill

"If you have no choice as to your sex, male or female; if you have no choice as to your color; if you have no choice as to your sexual orientation; then you have to be protected and given the same opportunity for life, liberty and happiness."

These were the words of Rep. Anthony DiFruscia, R-Windham, during the hour long debate over New Hampshire's Same-Sex Marriage bill.

And with a 198-176 vote in the house, New Hampshire became the sixth US state to allow same-sex marriage. The bill has the approval of Governor John Lynch, who is expected to sign it later this afternoon.

Lynch, a Democrat, personally opposes gay marriage but decided to view the issue "through a broader lens."

Originally, Lynch said he would veto gay marriage 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."

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.

Vermont, Maine, Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts and now New Hampshire all have legalized same-sex marriage. The only remaining state in New England without marriage equality is Rhode Island where Governor Donald Carcieri supports the National Organization for Marriage. However, after being polled, the majority of citizens in Rhode Island do support same-sex marriage, so there is still hope.


Nelia said...

We are evolving!

Lola said...

Yes! It's slow, but it's sure!

If only Illinois could get it together in the next session..

Lesbian Entertainment said...

Sexual orientation is a matter of personal choice, same-sex partners should be given equal rights and benefits and same-sex marriages should not be looked down upon.

girl2grl said...

Personally I don't believe that sexual orientation is a matter of choice. However, I do agree that "same-sex partners should be given equal rights and benefits and same-sex marriages should not be looked down upon."


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