What a difference an election makes
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
New Hampshire becomes 5th state to offer broad protections under state law to same-sex couples
WASHINGTON, April 26 — By a 14–10 vote, the New Hampshire Senate today passed a bill that will grant same-sex couples in civil unions all of the rights afforded to New Hampshire’s married couples under state law. The legislation passed the state House on April 4 by a 243–129 vote. Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat, has said he intends to sign the legislation as “a matter of conscience, fairness and preventing discrimination.”
This will make New Hampshire the fifth state to offer broad protections under state law to same-sex couples, and the third state, following Connecticut and California, to do so in the absence of a court order. (Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey have civil union laws; California has a broad domestic partnership law.) The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., applauds the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition and supportive legislators on this victory.
Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
“Just five years ago, few would have believed that the New Hampshire Legislature would ever pass civil unions legislation, let alone by wide margins — what a difference elections make!
“We urge Governor Lynch to sign this bill into law quickly. Each day that New Hampshire’s same-sex couples are saddled with second-class citizenship and blocked from receiving basic protections is a day these couples and their children are unnecessarily placed in harm’s way.
“This victory marks a step toward full equality, and we applaud the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition and the many supportive lawmakers for their tremendous efforts. Next up? Marriage equality — no more, no less.”
The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.
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