As the governor of New Hampshire signed a law May 31 establishing civil unions for same-gender couples in the state, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire Gene Robinson said he will not direct Episcopal priests in the diocese to bless same-gender unions, letting priests decide that individually.
Robinson attended the ceremony in Concord during which Gov. John Lynch signed the bill. The new law allows same-gender couples to apply for the same rights as married people as early as January 2008. Same-gender unions from other states also will be recognized if they were legal in the state where they were performed.
New Hampshire will be the fourth State to offer civil unions and the first to do so without a court order or threat of one.