New Hampshire law makes same-sex civil unions legal

Governor John Lynch signed a bill yesterday that will legalize civil unions for gay couples beginning in January.

“We in New Hampshire have had a long and proud tradition of taking the lead in opposing discrimination,” Lynch said as he signed the bill. “I do not believe that this bill threatens marriage. I believe that this is a matter of conscience and fairness.”

Legislators who gathered for the bill signing packed the governor’s chambers and overflowed into an adjoining sitting room. They snapped photos and burst into applause as he signed.

Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson also attended the bill signing. He and his longtime partner plan to take advantage of civil unions.

New Hampshire is the first state to embrace same-sex unions without a court order or the threat of one. Connecticut was the first to adopt civil unions without a court order two years ago. A lawsuit challenging the marriage law was pending, but legislators said they were not influenced by it.

Vermont, California, New Jersey, Maine, and Washington also have laws allowing either civil unions or domestic partnerships, and Oregon will join the list in January.

Hawaii extends certain spousal rights to same-sex couples and cohabiting heterosexual pairs. Only Massachusetts allows same-sex couples to marry.

Couples entering civil unions will have the same rights, responsibilities, and obligations as married couples. Same-sex unions from other states would be recognized if they were legal in the state where they were performed.

In a busy day at the State House, votes yesterday put New Hampshire on the path to join its New England neighbors in banning smoking in bars and restaurants, but to remain the only state without a mandatory seat belt law.

The state Senate voted 16 to 8 yesterday against requiring adults to buckle up.

“Today, you may hear that 49 other states have passed similar legislation,” said Senator Bob Clegg, a Republican. “I happen to be proud of the fact that here in New Hampshire, we make our own decisions. If you want to wear a seat belt, you are free to do so. If you want to risk your life by not wearing one, it is not the government’s responsibility to force you to.”

But Senator Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, argued that the cost is too great. She said General John Stark, famous for the state’s “Live Free or Die” motto, did not mean that people should do whatever they want.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Sexuality

21 comments on “New Hampshire law makes same-sex civil unions legal

  1. NancyNH says:

    Interestingly, this photo does not show VGR, who was standing behind and to the left of Lynch, and who was very prominent in the film clips.

    I’ve posted on Stand Firm, so all I’ll say here is that I’m grateful that God’s law trumps man’s “law.” Nothing these “legislators” can do will change God’s law!

  2. Irenaeus says:

    Don’t miss the final paragraphs:

    “In a busy day at the State House, votes yesterday put New Hampshire on the path to…remain the only state without a mandatory seat belt law. …
    “‘Today, you may hear that 49 other states have passed similar legislation,’ said Senator Bob Clegg, a Republican. ‘I happen to be proud of the fact that here in New Hampshire, we make our own decisions….'”
    “But Senator Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, argued that the cost is too great. She said General John Stark, famous for the state’s ‘Live Free or Die’ motto, did not mean that people should do whatever they want.”

  3. dwstroudmd+ says:

    Comparing the nonseatbelt lifestyle with the gay lifestyle in terms of reduction of life expectancy would be most illustrative of which is riskier – but “live free or die” ‘feels’ good. How dare Maggie, a Democrat, suggest that individuals should be responsible for their lifestyle choices simply becuase it impacts society!

  4. Reactionary says:

    The anti-libertarian character of “gay marriage” is apparent in a tiny minority of the population useing government to deconstruct an institution that pre-exists the state.

  5. Words Matter says:

    #7 – Please explain, then, what my gay friends mean when they speak of “my lifestyle”, “the lifestyle”, and talking about “I came out to the my family about my lifestyle“.

    As to “gay” as a “state of being”, you are entitled to your opinion.

  6. Reactionary says:


    What is the scientific/medical fact that makes a person gay?

  7. Elle says:

    Apart from the same-sex civil union issue: People in New Hampshire now have the right to choose whether to protect themselves by wearing seatbelts. Do they also have the right to choose not to provide medical care at state expense for those who become wards of the state after being seriously injured because they weren’t buckled up?

  8. Words Matter says:

    this is scientific/medical fact

    No, it’s not.

    Now, one could reasonably argue that it’s a given – biological or psyco-social in origen – about some persons. Many (most?) people experience same-sex attractions at some point in their lives. For most of these folks, it’s an adolescent thing they grow out of; for some, the attractions co-exist with heterosexual attractions through life in varying strengths, for some the same-sex attractions are predominant, virtually exclusive.

    To speak of sexuality as a given, however, ignores the common experience that sexual attractions change from time to time, and are often under our deliberate control. It’s simply false to speak of sexuality as a fixed quality of our humanity. Moreover, whether the homosexual condition is fixed or malleable, whether it originates in biology or psychic development, the question must be answered: is homosexual attraction a natural human variant (such as eye color or race), or a disorder (such as diabetes).

    I do agree with one thing, which is that “gay” (sexual attraction) and sexual behavior are separate issues, and each are separate from “lifestyle”. All of which points to this: “gay” is a social identity based on a particular sexuality. If that sexuality is disordered, than the social identity will also be disordered, whether the individual is sexually active or not. The well-known, and scientifcally proven social pathologies of the “gay community” (see 3 & 4 above) are more than suggestive as to the real nature of the homosexual condition, whatever its origens.

  9. Jim the Puritan says:

    As usual, the Gay Bishop was in the front row getting maximum tv time. I always say, if I only had a quarter for each person that believed the Gay Bishop when he said he wouldn’t be the Gay Bishop, just a bishop who happened to be gay, I could retire.

  10. NewTrollObserver says:

    I presume Bp. Robinson will take advantage of the new law.

  11. Henry Troup says:

    #3 and #4 – how is it that neither of those papers includes “gay-bashing” as a cause of reduced life span?

  12. Words Matter says:

    So, Mr. Troup, how many gay people are murdered by “gay-bashers” annually? The last actually number I have is from the FBI in 2001: that was one… one gay person murdered as a matter of gay-bashing. Do you have actual data to show an increase of numbers dramatic enough to cause a statistical effect?

  13. Henry Troup says:

    #16 – try The International Centre for the Prevention of Crime: 120 homicides and 350 “gay-bashing” assaults that have occurred in Canada since 1990.
    Strange that only one person in the US (that would be Matthew Shepard) while 120 in peaceful Canada have been murdered?

  14. Words Matter says:

    The cited article is a book review, not a study. The book in question purports to attribute 120 murders to “homophobia”. Of two of those murders, the author writes:

    Toronto’s Hate Crime Unit was interviewed after a shocking series of prostitute murders in 1995. Two of the victims were transsexuals who had been shot at point-blank range. Marcello Palma, who was eventually convicted of first-degree murder, told his psychiatrist he wanted to kill street people and “scum.” Yet, the police did not see the connection:

    Well, neither do I. It would be helpful to know whether the killer knew he was shooting transsexuals. In other words, the book looks more like propaganda than fact.

    But let’s allow that 120 murders in Canada were done due to “homophobia” since 1990. That makes about 7 per year. My source for one murder in 2001 (Shepherd was murdered in 1998, btw) was an FBI fact sheet, but let’s allow for under-reporting. How would 7 murders affect the death rate attributable to the gay lifestyle? We are talking 7 tragedies, not a major social pathology.

    Which is not, CStan, justification for blaming gay people for getting murdered. The “pathogenic cretins” are the perpetrators. The irony of all this is that Christians are just as clear that murder and assualt are sins as intolerable as homosexual acts. One suspects, therefore, that the homosexualist oppression of Christianity pertains more to a need to absolute and unqualified approbation of sodomy than a concern for personal safety.

  15. Henry Troup says:

    #19 – that would be in the close neighborhood of 1% of all homicide in Canada. (2004, 622 source and also another Statistics Canada source. What’s that number for the US? The FBI source I found says 16,692
    A general statistical survey of hate crime says
    “Overall, one quarter of victims of a violent crime suffered an injury as a result of the hate crime incident; many of which (45%) were minor in nature. About 7% of victims suffered major injuries, of which two resulted in death. For the remaining 48% of victims, the level of injury was unknown.

    Approximately 46% of gay and lesbian victims of hate crime were injured as a result of the incident, almost twice the proportion of 25% among hate crime victims in general.”
    That last group is 9% of 928 incidents.

  16. Henry Troup says:

    #21 – one might say the same for being Christian in Saudi Arabia; or in fact part of any minority. “If they’d just keep in their place.”

  17. Words Matter says:

    Ok, 2 of these hate crimes resulted in death. I don’t see who those people were. 7% of victims (that’s 64 individuals over two years) sustained serious injuries.

    That 16,692 would be all murders in the U.S., I presume for ’05. The last figure I could quickly find was 16,137 in ’04.

    Here is the source for U.S. data on hate crimes:

    From the FBI Hate Crimes Report, 2005 (’06 data will be out in Fall, ’07):

    An analysis of the 7,160 single-bias incidents by bias motivation revealed that 54.7 percent were motivated by a racial bias, 17.1 percent were triggered by a religious bias, 14.2 percent were motivated by a sexual-orientation bias, and 13.2 percent of the incidents were motivated by an ethnicity/national origin bias. Nearly 1 percent (0.7) involved bias against a disability.

    There were 5,190 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against persons in 2005. Intimidations accounted for 48.9 percent, simple assaults for 30.2 percent, and aggravated assaults for 20.5 percent. Six murders as well as 3 forcible rapes were reported as hate crimes.

    Six murders. If the stats in the first paragraph hold, maybe one is due to sexual orientation.

    Once again, Henry, you fail to sustain – scientifically – that “gay-bashing” contributes to a shorter life-span for gays, alleged in #15 above. Now, if we wanted to talk about a real threat to the safety of gays, we could discuss same-sex domestic violence. The problem is that those numbers are hard to find. Interestingly, I found a website for an organization called the “Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project”. They refer to the “many men fleeing violent relationships across our area”, but actual raw numbers aren’t given.

  18. Henry Troup says:

    Interesting – there are in round numbers twenty times as many murders in the US as in Canada, but Canada has one-fifth the hate crimes of the US. So either Canada is four times more prone to hate crime, or the definitions are so different as to be incomparable. But the FBI finds a higher proportion of hate crimes based on sexual orientation than does Statistics Canada (15% as opposed to 9%).
    Being a victim of crime does lead to shortened lifespan, from stress, etc.
    One would have to control for same-sex domestic violence vs. opposite-sex – I’ve never seen reliable numbers.

  19. Larry Morse says:

    The seat belt law was refused, not because wearing a seat belt is without benefit, but because the people see the danger in legislation who purpose is to prevent, not to remedy. Consider the argument for prevention: If we could prevent the bulk of all behavior that damages individuals and society, we would save enormous sums of money. This is a high priority, so that all prevention legislation is worthy of approval.

    The problem arises, as New Hampshire-ites see it, that it gives the government almost unlimited power over what you can and cannot do. Ban smoking? Of course. Enforce seatbelts? Of course. Make the entire range of innoculations mandatory? Of course. Make driving over the age of 70 and under the age of 25 a crime? Well, it should happen, shouldn’t it, if prevention is the goal? Put cameras everywhere to stop crime before it happens? Of course, and this is happening now. And this follows then: Implant beacons under the skin so every individual can be followed every minute of the day? Logical. Nobody will ever be lost, and everybody can be traced. As you know such implants are already in existence. Of all slippery slopes, this is the slipperyest. The Mommy society is a synonym for Big Brother, and New Hampshirites know it. I wish this same clarity existed in Maine where they have just made stopping car to check on seat-belt wearing legal.

  20. Reactionary says:


    “Genetics?” They’ve found the gene that triggers homosexual implulses?

  21. Words Matter says:

    Is there any reason that our genetic structures are somehow exempt from the Fall in any case? Are they not part of creation?