Your Honor, I Do (in New Hampshire)!

by aphrodite wedding photographyNew Hampshire 6th State to Legalize Gay Marriage

By Jennifer Belkus Goolkasian

Two nigh years ago New Hampshire accepted legislation allowing same sex couples access to civil unions. This month, the historically blue state upped the ante, passing a bill that grants gays and lesbians the right to marriage. Perhaps the Live Free or Die state is trading in its something blue for something decidedly red.

“Today is a day to celebrate in New Hampshire,” announced Gov. John Lynch-D on Wednesday, June 3, the day of the signing.

Lynch claimed that he would veto the bill if certain language were not bolstered, essentially supporting religious institutions’ right in choosing to recognize or disallow same sex marriage. This means, for example, that clergy would not be required to officiate a gay or lesbian wedding if not condoned within their faith.

While proponents for the bill argued that these precautions pre-existed, in the end the changes occurred, and Lynch signed the bill into history.

The bill passed in the Senate14-10, and in the House with a 198-176 vote.

Changing demographics in New Hampshire from Republican to Democrat leanings–a topic of discussion during the 2008 presidential campaign–may relate to the changes we see in state rulings.

“Today should not be considered a victory for some and a loss for others,” Lynch projected. “Today is a victory for all the people of NH, who I believe, in our own independent way, want tolerance for all.”

The law will go into effect January 1, 2010, making NH the 5th New England state to currently recognize same sex marriage, and the 6th nationwide.