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New Hampshire Senate passes same-sex marriage bill

[JURIST] The New Hampshire Senate [official website] voted 13-11 Wednesday to approve a bill [HB 436 text] that would permit same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] in the state. The New Hampshire House of Representatives [official website] approved the bill [JURIST report] last month by a vote of 186-179. The bill was amended on the Senate floor to distinguish between civil and religious marriage [Union Leader report]. The bill must now be reconciled between differing House and Senate versions before going before Governor John Lynch (D) [official website], who has not indicated whether he will veto it [Reuters report]. Lynch has expressed opposition to the bill, saying that the New Hampshire civil union law [JURIST report] passed in 2007 provides the same legal protections for same-sex couples.

The New Hampshire attorney general was one of 10 state attorneys general to petition the Supreme Court of California to postpone implementation of its decision [JURIST reports] to allow same-sex marriages in that state. The New Hampshire same-sex civil union law, which took effect in 2008 [JURIST report], allows same-sex couples to enter into civil unions with the "same rights, responsibilities, and obligations as married couples." In 2005, a New Hampshire Senate commission on same-sex marriages voted to recommend [JURIST report] that the state not allow same-sex couples to marry, not recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages, and not establish a domestic partner registry.


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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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