New Hampshire legalises gay marriage

Governor John Lynch of the US state of New Hampshire signed legislation 3 June 2009 legalising same-sex marriage, making it the sixth state in the US to do so.

The bill had been passed by a 14-10 vote in the Senate, and a 198-176 vote in the lower house. The law will come into effct on 1 January 2010.

While civil marriage will be extended to gay couples, the law clearly states that religious organisations and their employees can refuse to participate in same-sex ceremonies or celebrations.

Massachusetts was the first state in the US to legalise same-sex marriages. Its legislature was compelled to do so after the state supreme court ruled that restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples was discriminatory. It is a sign of changing public attitudes that New Hampshire, like its neighbour Vermont, is legalising gay marriage without pressure from the courts.

4 Responses to “New Hampshire legalises gay marriage”

  1. 2 Russel 6 June 2009 at 13:43

    The same sex marriage seems to be the primodial concern of gay activists in the West. It is a nice step to have that, as it elevates same-sex coupleship to that of heterosexual relationship. But, there are more important issues that gay activists to fight for. One of them is anti-discrimination laws to be passed so that gays will not be discriminated in the school playing grounds as well as in the workplace. Then, laws should be passed so that all jobs should be accessible to gay people, for example in the army as well as in priesthood. In practical terms, whether a gay couple is in a marriage is not that important. Perhaps they might enjoy some social security benefits and benefits of inheritance laws to ensure that their partners will not be deprived when he/she passed away. But arrangements for your loved ones can always be done through a will, without the need for the state to interfere. Moreover, marriage is not on the agenda of many straight couples. Therefore, why should so much emphasis be placed on it when there are fundamentally more important issues to tackle.

  2. 3 Anon123 9 June 2009 at 19:36

    ” But arrangements for your loved ones can always be done through a will”

    There’s a hell of a lot more to it than that,there are all sorts of implications to being the legal next of kin. On the practical side there are also tax implications e.g. in the UK for example there’s inheritance tax of 40% that married couples and civil unions are exempt from. For long term relationships, it’s important to have this option, whatever it’s called.

    It’s all to do with equality under the law. But I agree that in neolithic places where it’s not even legal for gay men to make love this is not likely to be a major concern for most gay people.

  3. 4 jasonmichael24 3 January 2010 at 02:06

    Maybe I’m not looking in the right place, but I don’t see much in the news about this. I’m sure once the holiday is over, we’ll see a lot more.

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