Monday, February 27, 2012

If New Hampshire Tosses Three Year Old Law Permitting Same Sex Marriage, It will Still Have More Progressive Rights Than Wisconsin

The "Live Free or Die" state, New Hampshire, narrowly passed legislation in 2009 permitting marriage by same-sex couples.  Since the legislature passed into Republican hands in January 2011, a bill has been slowly coursing through the legislature to reverse the three year old law.  The New York Times reported late today:
Should the repeal pass, New Hampshire would be the first state in which a legislature has reversed itself on the issue of same-sex marriage. In Maine, voters repealed a marriage law through a referendum in November 2009, shortly after the Legislature approved it. This fall, a ballot initiative will ask voters to make same-sex marriage legal again. The California Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that same-sex couples there had a right to marry, but voters banned same-sex marriage in an initiative later that year. The issue remains in court. 
In a recent poll by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, 59 percent of respondents were either strongly or somewhat opposed to repealing the law, while 32 percent said they supported repeal.
 When New Hampshire became the sixth state to approve same-sex marriage, in 2009 — following California, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts and Vermont — it was not an easy feat. The law passed with close votes in both chambers, which were then under Democratic control, and with last-minute support from Governor Lynch, who had preferred civil unions.
Since then, about 1,900 same-sex couples have wed in the state. The repeal bill would not invalidate those marriages, but would allow only civil unions for gay couples moving forward.   (Emphasis supplied.)
Thus, even if the repeal law passes and a promised veto by New Hampshire's Democratic governor Lynch is over-ridden, the revision will still leave New Hampshire a more progressive state on marital equality than Wisconsin.

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