Search Browse On This Day Map Quotations Timeline Research Free Datasets Remembered About Contact

USA: New Hampshire OK's Civil Unions

Fri 1 Jun 2007 In: International News

New Hampshire Governor John Lynch signed legislation yesterday establishing civil unions for same-sex couples. The law will go into effect in January, making the state fourth in the USA to grant civil unions after New Jersey, Connecticut and Vermont. Neighbouring Massachusetts became the only state to allow gay marriage in 2004. The success of the civil union legislation was an about-face from two years earlier, when a study panel recommended New Hampshire give no meaningful consideration to extending legal recognition to gay couples. That panel had concluded that homosexuality was a choice, and it endorsed a constitutional amendment to limit marriage to unions between a man and a woman. State lawmakers have defeated proposed constitutional bans on same-sex marriage two years in a row. "We in New Hampshire have had a long and proud tradition taking the lead and opposing discrimination," Lynch said as he signed the bill. "Today that tradition continues." Couples entering civil unions will have the same rights, responsibilities and obligations as married couples. Same-sex unions from other states also would be recognised if they were legal in the state where they were performed. At Senate hearings into the bill the openly gay bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson, said that the state should embrace couples seeking civil unions because they value monogamy and commitment. ''Would that we could get all heterosexual couples to take these commitments and responsibilities so seriously,'' he said. Robinson is at the centre of an Anglican feud over the role of gays in the denomination. He told senators that he deserves equality for himself and his partner of nearly 20 years. ''What we seek in the civil realm is the equal treatment by the state government in supporting this development of our relationship with the legal, financial and societal underpinnings which are afforded married couples at the very moment they say 'I do,''' he said. A bill that would allow same-sex marriage is currently before the New York State legislature but Senate Republicans have vowed to defeat the measure. In California the state Supreme Court is to hear arguments in a gay marriage case later this year.     Ref: (m)

Credit: News Staff

First published: Friday, 1st June 2007 - 12:00pm

Rights Information

This page displays a version of a article that was automatically harvested before the website closed. All of the formatting and images have been removed and some text content may not have been fully captured correctly. The article is provided here for personal research and review and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of If you have queries or concerns about this article please email us