BREAKING: New Hampshire House Passes Marriage Equality Bill
March 26, 2009
Today the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 186-179 for House Bill 436, legislation to recognize marriage for lesbian and gay couples in the state. The bill now moves to the senate, where Democrats hold a 14-9 lead. Democratic Governor John Lynch opposes gay marriage but has not said specifically that he would veto the measure. In 2006, HRC worked closely with legislators, community groups and local leaders to help elect fair-minded majorities to both the New Hampshire House of Representatives and Senate, which subsequently voted to pass civil unions legislation in 2007. This year, HRC has mobilized members to support House Bill 436. Earlier this week, Vermont’s state Senate voted 26-4 to pass legislation that would allow lesbian and gay couples to marry in Vermont, so New Hampshire or Vermont could be the first state to adopt marriage equality legislatively. HRC President Joe Solmonese:
This is a very proud day for New Hampshire and a very proud day for every American who believes in the promise of equal rights for all. We congratulate Representatives Ed Butler, Paul McEachern, Barbara Richardson, and Jim Splaine for their leadership in sponsoring this bill, as well as GLAD, PFLAG New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition, and the many activists, including HRC members, who have been working to build support for this legislation. The New Hampshire State House of Representatives recognized that lesbian and gay couples who form committed relationships and loving families deserve the same level of respect afforded to straight couples. We hope that this bill will pass the state Senate and be enacted as law.
Only Massachusetts and Connecticut currently allow gay and lesbian couples to marry under state law. Due to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), gay and lesbian couples do not receive federal rights and benefits in any state. To learn more about state by state legislation visit: www.hrc.org/state_laws.
May 18, 2013