Bill passes Senate:
The bill was headed for failure in the Senate when a last-minute amendment was made to strengthen protections that granted immunity from prosecution to religious groups and organizations who want to continue to discriminate against same-sex couples.
The amendment was made to:
This increased support for the bill somewhat. It was passed with a vote of 13 to 11 on 2009-APR-29. 2
The House and Senate bills were then harmonized and sent to Governor John Lynch (D) for a signature or veto. If he vetoes the bill, it is very unlikely that either the House or Senate could override the veto.
Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, a group opposing marriage by same-sex couples, said that they would intensively lobby the governor to veto the bill. Brown, apparently unaware of the recent public opinion poll, said:
Mo Baxley, executive director of the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition, views the bill as a fair compromise. She said:
In reality, 54% of the legislators supported SSM, while 59% of those members of the public who have an opinion on SSM support it.
Following the Senate vote, Governor Lynch said:
The governor appears to reject the belief among many civil libertarians and marriage equality supporters that civil unions are inherently inferior to marriage. This appears to be a widespread belief; one only has to ask a few opposite-sex married couples whether they would be willing to trade their marriage certificate for a civil union certificate.
The federal "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA) withholds over 1,100 rights and privileges from same-sex married couples that are automatically given to opposite-sex married couples. Supporters of SSM hope that if a sufficient number of states legalize SSM that the DOMA law can be repealed.
Revised bill passes house:
The House voted to agree with changes to the House Bill 436 that had been made by the Senate. The vote was 178 to 167. The final version of the bill to authorize SSM passed the legislature on MAY-07 and sent to Governor John Lynch (D) who will either sign it into law, veto it, or do nothing and let it become law without his signature.
On MAY-05, he said:
Cornerstone Policy Research Action (CPR-Action) has been airing TV ads in an attempt to prevent marriage equality in the state. Spokesperson Kevin Smith called on the governor to ignore the will of the legislature and veto the bill in accordance with his past statements on limiting marriage to one man and one woman.
House Minority leader Rep. Sherman Packard, (R-Londonderry) said:
Representative Kris Roberts, (D-Keene), supports marriage equality, saying:
Representative Peter Bolster (R-Alton) is concerned that religious conservatives who provide wedding services to the public and want to discriminate against same-sex couples would risk lawsuits under the new law. He said:
"Representative David Pierce, (D-Hanover), who has a civil union partner, said:
If passed, the law would take effect on 2010-JAN-01.
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