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Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year Brings A New Law for Lesbian & Gay Couples in NH

In New Hampshire, Gay and Lesbian couples were lined up outside the state's capital building to marry at midnight on Jan. 2, 2010, when New Hampshire became the fifth US state to allow same-sex marriage.

At midnight on Thursday, same-sex couples in New Hampshire joined Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts and Iowa in their right to marry.

Couples already in civil unions have three options to convert their statuses to marriages. They can have marriage ceremonies, file marriage paperwork with their town clerks to convert their statuses during 2010 or wait until the unions are automatically converted in 2011.

Democratic Gov. John Lynch, who personally opposes gay marriage, signed the legislation after lawmakers passed key language affirming religious rights. The law spells out that churches and religious groups can't be forced to officiate at gay marriages or provide other services.he New Year brought a new law to New Hampshire, where midnight ceremonies took advantage of the fact that gay marriage is now legal in the state. As 2010 dawned, a bill signed last June became law, and the Granite State joined Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, and Vermont in recognizing same-sex unions. "I’m really glad it happened in our lifetimes," a 38-year-old bride told the Nashua Telegraph. "I didn’t know if it would."

"For all of us, it’s pretty significant,” said one of the new mothers-in-law. “I think it’s the final bridge they have to cross to feel like a family."

Source: Reuters

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