Gay Marriage | New Hampshire | News

New Hampshire Senate Passes Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Considering the fact that last week the New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee voted against recommending the marriage equality bill, it's pretty stunning news that it was approved today.

Reuters reports:

Nh "New Hampshire's Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would legalize same-sex marriage after an amendment was added that prohibits polygamy and marriage of family members, among other measures. Governor John Lynch (pictured) has not indicated whether he will veto the bill, which passed in a 13-11 vote and would make New Hampshire the nation's fifth state where gay marriage is legal. But the Democrat has expressed opposition to the measure. The bill passed the state's House of Representatives on March 26 but looked set for near certain defeat in the Senate before the amendment, which appeared to mollify some critics in the Democrat-controlled chamber. The last-minute changes to the legislation would allow clergy to decline to marry homosexual couples and give couples the freedom to either keep the words 'bride' and 'groom' on marriage licenses, or simply use the word "spouse" instead."

Because of the amendments added to the bill it must now go back to the House for another vote to resolve the differences. In other news, the NH Senate failed to pass a transgender nondiscrimination bill and a hate crimes bill.

NGLTF statement: "This vote in the New Hampshire Senate is another sign of the progress being made toward equality. For far too long, many New Hampshire families have been placed in harm's way because they lack the full, fundamental protections they deserve. We urge Gov. John Lynch to rectify this inequality — and help safeguard more of New Hampshire's families — by stepping up and signing this bill when it finally reaches his desk."

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  1. Andy,

    So now it's in the Gov's hands? What if he signs it? What happens after that? Can the citizens of NH pull a Prop 8?

    Posted by: Michael | Apr 29, 2009 4:24:57 PM

  2. I don't think they can pull a prop 8 on something that is turned into law by the legislature. Lynch would be a fool to veto this but I wouldn't be surprised if he did. They are strange up there.

    Posted by: realitythink | Apr 29, 2009 4:30:59 PM

  3. @Michael: NH doesn't have initiative & referendum:

    So the buck stops at Gov. Lynch.

    Posted by: Bruno | Apr 29, 2009 4:31:04 PM

  4. while i'm thrilled to see this advance and hope the governor has the sense to sign it, it's infuriating that someone needed clarifying language indicating this bill does not permit polygamy or incest (which i'd imagine are ALREADY illegal). it's maddening.

    Posted by: Matt | Apr 29, 2009 4:43:26 PM

  5. The New Hampshire Senate only has 24 Senators? Whaaa?

    So basically, my birthday month is turning out to be pretty rockin' this year. Woot!

    Posted by: K | Apr 29, 2009 5:21:34 PM

  6. if you are from new hampshire, please call/email governor lynch. he already posted a message on his website. let's all do something good and be a little less apathetic.

    Office of the Governor
    State House
    25 Capitol Street
    Concord, NH 03301

    (603)271-7680 (fax)

    call. mail. email.
    now, people, now.

    Posted by: daftpunkydavid | Apr 29, 2009 5:53:38 PM

  7. CALL and EMAIL Governor Lynch NOW! Get it done.

    Posted by: Bill | Apr 29, 2009 5:54:31 PM

  8. Everything must be done to persuade Governor Lynch to not veto it, including making it gently clear that he will not win the Democratic Party's nomination for governor next time around if he vetoes it. Obviously, NH's Democratic state Senators got the message that if they won't to win the party's nomination, they better support equal marriage rights. We should all be jockeying to make sure Governor Lynch does not veto this

    Posted by: Javier | Apr 29, 2009 5:55:14 PM

  9. i just spoke to a lady from "new hampshire freedom to marry". they're being outspent by gallagher's NOM (yes, of the "gathering storms" slash carrie prejean fame) like it's no joke. i'd suggest you make a donation to them so they can be effective in their lobbying efforts. do it people. this is important.

    Posted by: daftpunkydavid | Apr 29, 2009 6:49:01 PM

  10. Governor Lynch's statement on this is troubling and does not bode well for us. PLEASE CALL AND EMAIL HIS OFFICE WITH YOUR HEARTFELT PLEAS THAT HE NOT STAND IN THE WAY OF PROGRESS. Here is his statement on the official governor's website:

    Gov. Lynch Statement Regarding Passage of Same-Sex Marriage Legislation

    “I recognize that the issue of same-sex marriage is intensely passionate and personal, and raises strong emotions on all sides.

    "I still believe the fundamental issue is about providing the same rights and protections to same-sex couples as are available to heterosexual couples. This was accomplished through the passage of the civil unions law two years ago. To achieve further real progress, the federal government would need to take action to recognize New Hampshire civil unions."

    Posted by: Robert | Apr 29, 2009 8:37:34 PM

  11. K,
    Yes, the NH Senate has only 24 members. However, the NH House has 400...yes, you read it right, 400.

    Posted by: 207guy | Apr 29, 2009 8:48:15 PM

  12. I don't understand the gov's comments re: the federal government. They would need to take action? But the Fed politicians just want to leave it up to the states to resolve--which the NH Senate just DID, right?

    Posted by: Daniel | Apr 29, 2009 11:31:15 PM

  13. @ Robert: my comment was responding to the quote you posted, BTW. Should've mentioned that, sorry.

    Posted by: Daniel | Apr 29, 2009 11:32:30 PM

  14. I do not think there is any provision for a ballot initative in the state. The prevailing thought is that it will go back to the house and get passed, and thet Lynch will not sign, nor veto, and after 6 days it will become law. We shall see. Tough state for a gay man in general, frankly...this gives on hope.

    Posted by: MikeNH | Apr 30, 2009 12:43:31 AM

  15. I can't figure out if he's trying to set the public up for an ignoring the bill or a veto. It's not a very specific statement, but I kind of feel like if he were going to veto the bill, at this point he'd just say it.

    Posted by: Bruno | Apr 30, 2009 5:40:26 AM

  16. I sure hope you are right Bruno! Daniel, I read the gov.'s comments to say, I support equal rights which civil unions in New Hampshire have done as far as state law can go, and the marriage law is unnecessary since it will not technically add any rights for gay couples under state law (other than of course the magnificent right of true equality) and change nothing about federal law. To me it reads like the warmup to a veto, testing the waters to see how much flack he will get for it first.

    Posted by: Robert | Apr 30, 2009 5:00:58 PM

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