New Hampshire Gay Marriage

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New Hampshire Gay Marriage History

New Hampshire gay marriage has been legal since 2010 when it was signed into law by the governor. This law ensured that civil unions would also be turned into marriages. We might not be able to understand exactly what gay marriage might stipulate and we might not be able to understand the exact difference between marriage and a civil union, however they both have different meanings. Up until June 2015, gay marriages were not necessarily recognized on a federal level. This meant that assuming a couple who had been legally married in one state and they went to another, that state might not recognize their marriage. This would mean that this gay couple would not be able to receive the benefits that they rightfully deserve in their marriage. Legalizing gay marriage would ensure that a gay couple would be federally and legally protected no matter where they went in the United States. By denying gay couples the rights that a straight couple could have, is, in essence, a violation of human rights.

Civil Unions and Partnerships For New Hampshire Gay Couples

In 1987, gay marriage licenses were considered invalid when New Hampshire changed its statutes to stipulate that gay marriage was banned. When gay marriage was legalized in neighboring Massachusetts, in 2004; New Hampshire created an inquiry made up of lawmakers, politicians and legislators that aimed to consider gay marriage laws. This inquiry found that the state constitution should be changed to ensure that the wording specifies heterosexual marriage and also guarantee that there could be no further amendments that could end up making gay marriage legal. This proved to be a severe legal hurdle on the road to legalizing gay marriage in the state. In a small gesture of humanity, the state did agree to extend hospital rights to gay couples, but ensured that there were no chances to achieve any sort of benefits.

A Victory For New Hampshire Gay Civil Unions

Finally during a state wide election, Democrats won a majority and proposed granting more rights to gay couples. The proposal included civil unions, which would be able to include such things as spousal benefits, insurance coverage and much more. Then in 2007, the state legislature considered a bill that would essentially legalize gay marriage, except it would remain in the realm of a civil union. On April 4 2007, New Hampshire’s legislature passed a civil unions bill that gave gay couples the same rights, responsibilities and obligations as straight married couples. This was a victory for gay couples all through New Hampshire. This bill also stipulated that gay marriages and civil unions from outside the state would be recognized.

Civil Unions Pitfalls

Yet, despite this victory regarding civil unions for gay couples, the various practices and aspects of the law didn’t include nearly all of the rights that would be given to a straight married couple. Some of the obligations and responsibilities of gay civil unions included medical care plus decisions making on medical issues for respective partners, beneficiary status as well transference of assets after death of a partner, health-care coverage, adoption and childcare. These New Hampshire civil unions also included some problems or shortcomings that would essentially ensure that gay couples would not be legally recognized in certain states, no federal tax benefits and many would be considered essentially unmarried based on various laws. As you can see, civil unions were a step in the right direction, but they did not offer true marriage benefits and there was no guarantee of Federal protection. This is a feature of the state constitution, so that all citizens may have equal rights and equal protection.

Propositions In State Government For Gay Marriage

Then in March of 2009, the New Hampshire House Of Representatives attempted to pass a bill called HB 436. It was a bill that proposed gay marriage being legalized in the state. There was much deliberation about it, but it was finally passed in May of 2009. Governor John Lynch aimed to ensure that religious institutions and individuals would not be scrutinized should they refuse a gay couple any marriage licenses. This was a popular way in which opposition figures might be able to combat gay marriage being legalized. However, the Governor himself did not openly defy the law nor did he attempt to stop it. Instead, he took the position that it is moral and ethical decisions, and the law proposing gay marriage must be passed. The definition of gay marriage in New Hampshire is defined as Marriage is the legally recognized union of 2 people. Any person who otherwise meets the eligibility requirements of this chapter may marry any other eligible person regardless of gender. Despite this victory for New Hampshire gay marriage, there were still attempts to repeal the bill and ban same-sex marriages in the state. When this failed, there were more attempts to change the law, finally in November 2012, the democrats took control of the Senate and House, thus ensuring that gay marriage was fully legal in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire Gay Marriage Statistics

Statistics have shown that there is some real support for gay marriage in New Hampshire with a 67% support margin and only 24% of voters rejected or opposing a bill on same-sex marriage. A poll of registered voters determined that 55.4% of them believe that New Hampshire gay marriage should be legal, while only 24% of the state opposed it. This is an amazing example of the progressive attitudes in New Hampshire and this poll of registered voters is more representative of actual opinions in the state compared to a poll conducted by the New York Times. In 2005, there were over 5,578 gay couples in New Hampshire. Then approximately 83% of homosexuals in New Hampshire had jobs, unlike 73% straight people. In 2005, it was estimated that 1,614 gay New Hampshire households have children.

The Current And Future Status of New Hampshire Gay Marriage

Based on New Hampshire’s legalization of gay marriage in 2010, we can imagine that gay marriage is in fact here to stay. The recent Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage essentially ensures that gay couples around the country can receive equal benefits and that their marriage will be recognized federally. The idea of gay couples not being able to have the same protections that straight couples is unconstitutional and many New Hampshire lawmakers could see this. Gay marriage is not only a battle of ideals, but it is a battle of rights and economics. When we consider what straight married couples are able to do in life, compared to what gay couples who were in civil unions were able to do; it seems that it would be totally unreasonable to deny them any sort of equal rights. This is exactly what gay rights activists were seeking when it came to gay marriage. A recent UCLA study determined that impact of same-sex marriage would result in a gain of $500,000 tax dollars for the State of New Hampshire. This is a point that deserves attention because the economic impact of gay marriage is very positive and represents a shift in thinking around the world.

External Links About New Hampshire Gay Marriage

Here are some external links that outline your marriage rights, some places to go marriage officiants and gay wedding vendors who cater to the LGBT community in New Hampshire:

1. EnGayged.com’s Listing Of Gay Friendly Wedding Officiants in New Hampshire

2. Purple Union’s Listing Of Gay-Friendly Wedding Vendors

3. Information For How To Attain Your Wedding License

4. GLAD’S Detailed Breakdown On How To Get Married In New Hampshire

5. Gay Wedding Destinations in New Hampshire