NH Sen passes gay marriage bill
The New Hampshire Senate approved a same-sex marriage bill Wednesday that puts the Granite state on the track to becoming the fifth state in the nation to do so.
The same-sex marriage bill in New Hampshire didn’t look like it was going to pass last week when the Democratic chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee cast a key vote against the measure.
But that same Democratic Senator–Deborah Reynolds–started off debate on the Senate floor by announcing she had changed her mind. She said supporters of the measure had made enough compromises to win the support of her constituents and she urged support for the new measure.
The Senate voted 13 to 11 to do just that and then approved the new version of the same-sex marriage bill Wednesday afternoon. The amended bill must now go back to the House where victory was also snatched from a near defeat.
The primary changes in the new bill allow marriage license applicants to choose for themselves whether to be identified in documents as a bride, groom or spouse. They also specify that religious denominations are under no obligation to perform same-sex marriages.
The House concurrence vote is likely to take place next week. Meanwhile, Democratic Governor John Lynch, who opposes same-sex marriage, looms as a wild card. The governor has not indicated whether he will sign or veto the measure.
Lisa Keen, Keen News Service