Supporters watch as NH Gov. John Lynch signs gay marriage into law at the State House in Concord yesterday. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
"It's law: Gay couples can soon wed in NH"
By TOM FAHEY, NH State House Bureau Chief, NH Union Leader, Thursday, June 4, 2009
CONCORD – Acting quickly after final Senate and House votes yesterday, Gov. John Lynch signed into law a group of three bills that allow same-sex marriage in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire is the sixth state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage. The new law becomes effective Jan. 1, 2010.
Lynch signed the bills in a crowded Executive Council chamber less than 90 minutes after the House voted 198-176 to pass HB 73 (text: www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2009/HB0073.html), the final piece of the marriage package. The bills allow any two adults to marry. They also bar lawsuits against religious groups and workers if they refuse to participate in gay weddings or celebrations that go against their faiths.
Debate on the issue occupied the Legislature for the last five months and drew more than 1,000 people to a series of public hearings. Gay marriage advocates said the bills draw a clear line between religious and civil marriage and argued they are a matter of civil rights. Critics said Democrats were pushing an agenda that the rest of New Hampshire is not ready for. They said same-sex marriage runs against centuries of tradition and religious practice.
Now, Lynch said, the state needs to put the debate behind it.
"Today is a day to celebrate in New Hampshire. Today should not be considered a victory for some and a loss for others. Today is a victory for all the people of New Hampshire, who I believe, in our own independent way, want tolerance for all," he said.
The trio of bills go into great detail preserving the rights of religious groups. Lynch threatened to veto gay marriage if the final explicit protections in HB 73 weren't part of the new law.
Lynch said that New Hampshire has done all it can to ensure marriage equality. He said changes need to be made at the federal level next. The Defense of Marriage Act reserves federal benefits such as Social Security and federal tax breaks for traditional marriages between men and women.
New Hampshire passed a civil unions law two years ago. Those unions will convert to marriages on Jan. 1, 2011, if couples don't take steps to convert them sooner.
HB 73 is an add-on to the primary gay marriage bill, HB 436 (text: www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2009/HB0436.html), and to HB 310 (text: www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2009/HB0310.html), which made technical changes to the main bill.
HB 73 clarifies the rights of religious organizations and workers, and states that religious groups have "exclusive control" over doctrine, teaching and beliefs on who can marry within their faiths.
Only eight Republicans voted for HB 73. Fifteen Democrats voted against it.
Critics took the loss hard, and promised to make gay marriage a 2010 election issue.
House Minority Leader Sherman Packard, R-Londonderry, said, "We're saddened that the Democratic Legislature has chosen to go down a road we feel the people of New Hampshire do not support. This is absolutely not the change they voted for in the last elections." State Republican Party chair John H. Sununu said Lynch, in a "calculated political move ... let the people of New Hampshire down" by not vetoing the bills.
Kevin Stone of the conservative Cornerstone Policy Research-Action, said Lynch once said he opposed gay marriage. "The governor evidently has no problem misleading the voters of this state ... We are confident that the voters will not soon forget." Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, said, "If Gov. Lynch decides to seek another term, you can be certain that he will have to answer to voters." NOM will push for a non-binding referendum on municipal ballots next year, he said, Speaker of the House Terie Norelli, D-Portsmouth, said she never doubted the bills would pass.
"This legislation ensures both marriage equality and religious tolerance," she said, stating the bills free clergy whom state law prevented from conducting same-sex marriages. At the same time, clergy who object to the practice are expressly exempt from having to officiate.
State Democratic Party chairman Raymond Buckley said "the Granite State has long been a place where individual freedom has been revered and upheld, and today Gov. Lynch and legislative leaders affirmed our state's values." A group of about 125 gay marriage advocates applauded House members as they left the State House after the vote.
One in the crowd, New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, said the vote was "extremely American. It had to do with equality for all and the separation of church and state." Mo Baxley, executive director of N.H. Freedom to Marry, said she was confident throughout the process and called it "a wonderful day for New Hampshire." Lawmakers "stood up for traditional New Hampshire values," of individual liberty, religious freedom and marriage equality, she said.
Lynch said things will calm down now that the bills have passed.
"Most families in New Hampshire will awaken tomorrow, go to work and to school, and feel no impact from what we have accomplished today," he said. "But for some, they will awaken tomorrow knowing we have said to them that they are equal, that they have the same rights to live and to love as everyone else." Senate President Sylvia Larsen said the bills "expand the sense of acceptance and tolerance and protects the liberties of the people of New Hampshire. There's a lot of celebration happening here today."
The June 3, 2009, House roll call on HB 73, the key vote on the legalization of gay marriage in New Hampshire. The joint legislative committee of conference's recommendation to pass the bill was accepted, 198-176.
Representative Party County District Vote
Abbott, Dennis (D) Rockingham 12 Yea
Aguiar, James (D) Grafton 6 Yea
Ahlgren, Christopher (R) Carroll 4 Nay
Allen, Mary (R) Rockingham 11 Nay
Allen, Peter (D) Cheshire 6 Yea
Almy, Susan (D) Grafton 11 Yea
Anderson, Eric (R) Merrimack 13 Nay
Arsenault, Beth (D) Belknap 4 Yea
Bailey, Clinton (R) Rockingham 3 Nay
Baldasaro, Alfred (R) Rockingham 3 Nay
Baroody, Benjamin (D) Hillsborough 13 Yea
Bartlett, Michael (D) Merrimack 11 Yea
Bates, David (R) Rockingham 4 Nay
Batula, Peter (R) Hillsborough 19 Nay
Beauchamp, Roger (D) Hillsborough 17 Yea
Beaulieu, Jane (D) Hillsborough 17 Yea
Beck, Catriona (D) Hillsborough 2 Yea
Belanger, Ronald (R) Rockingham 4 Nay
Belvin, William (R) Hillsborough 6 Nay
Benn, Bernard (D) Grafton 9 Yea
Bergin, Peter (R) Hillsborough 6 Yea
Berube, Roger (D) Strafford 2 Nay
Bettencourt, David (R) Rockingham 4 Nay
Bickford, David (R) Strafford 3 Nay
Bishop, Franklin (R) Rockingham 2 Nay
Boehm, Ralph (R) Hillsborough 27 Nay
Boisvert, Ronald (D) Hillsborough 17 Nay
Bolster, Peter (R) Belknap 5 Nay
Borden, David (D) Rockingham 18 Yea
Bouchard, Candace (D) Merrimack 11 Yea
Boutin, David (R) Merrimack 9 Nay
Boyce, Laurie (R) Belknap 5 Nay
Brennan, William (D) Strafford 1 Yea
Bridgham, Robert (D) Carroll 2 Yea
Bridle, Russell (R) Rockingham 15 Nay
Brown, C. Pennington (D) Rockingham 9 Yea
Brown, Carole (D) Merrimack 8 Yea
Brown, Jennifer (D) Strafford 5 Yea
Brown, Julie (R) Strafford 1 Nay
Brown, Larry (D) Strafford 3 Yea
Browne, Brendon (D) Strafford 4 Yea
Buco, Thomas (D) Carroll 1 Nay
Bulis, Lyle (R) Grafton 1 Nay
Burke, Rachel (D) Strafford 3 Yea
Burridge, Delmar (D) Cheshire 3 Not voting/excused
Butcher, Suzanne (D) Cheshire 3 Yea
Butler, Edward (D) Carroll 1 Yea
Butterworth, Timothy (D) Cheshire 4 Yea
Butynski, William (D) Cheshire 4 Nay
Cali-Pitts, Jacqueline (D) Rockingham 16 Yea
Campbell, David (D) Hillsborough 24 Yea
Carlson, Nancy (D) Cheshire 6 Not voting/not excused
Caron, June (D) Hillsborough 25 Yea
Carr, Daniel (D) Cheshire 4 Yea
Case, Frank (R) Rockingham 1 Nay
Casey, Kimberley (D) Rockingham 11 Yea
Cebrowski, John (R) Hillsborough 18 Nay
Chandler, Gene (R) Carroll 1 Nay
Chandley, Shannon (D) Hillsborough 6 Yea
Charron, Gene (R) Rockingham 7 Nay
Chase, Claudia (D) Hillsborough 2 Yea
Chininis, Alexis (D) Hillsborough 10 Yea
Christensen, Chris (R) Hillsborough 19 Nay
Christiansen, Lars (R) Hillsborough 27 Nay
Clarke, Claire (D) Merrimack 6 Yea
Clemons, Jane (D) Hillsborough 24 Yea
Cloutier, John (D) Sullivan 4 Yea
Coffey, Jennifer (R) Merrimack 6 Nay
Comerford, Timothy (R) Rockingham 9 Nay
Cooney, Mary (D) Grafton 7 Yea
Cote, David (D) Hillsborough 23 Yea
Craig, James (D) Hillsborough 9 Yea
Crisler, Margaret (R) Rockingham 4 Nay
Cushing, Robert (D) Rockingham 15 Yea
Cyr, James (D) Strafford 3 Yea
Daniels, Gary (R) Hillsborough 6 Nay
Davis, Frank (D) Merrimack 7 Yea
Day, Judith (D) Rockingham 13 Yea
Day, Russell (R) Hillsborough 7 Nay
DeJoie, John (D) Merrimack 11 Yea
DeSimone, Debra (R) Rockingham 6 Nay
DeStefano, Stephen (D) Merrimack 13 Nay
Devine, James (R) Rockingham 7 Nay
DiFruscia, Anthony (R) Rockingham 4 Yea
DiPentima, Rich (D) Rockingham 16 Yea
Doherty, Shaun (R) Hillsborough 27 Nay
Dokmo, Cynthia (R) Hillsborough 6 Yea
Domingo, Baldwin (D) Strafford 5 Yea
Donovan, Thomas (D) Sullivan 4 Nay
Dowling, Patricia (R) Rockingham 5 Nay
Drisko, Richard (R) Hillsborough 5 Nay
Dumaine, Dudley (R) Rockingham 3 Nay
Eaton, Daniel (D) Cheshire 2 Yea
Elliott, Nancy (R) Hillsborough 19 Nay
Elliott, Robert (R) Rockingham 4 Nay
Emerson, Susan (R) Cheshire 7 Nay
Emerton, Larry (R) Hillsborough 7 Nay
Emiro, Frank (R) Rockingham 3 Nay
Farley, Michael (D) Hillsborough 15 Yea
Ferrante, Beverly (R) Rockingham 5 Nay
Fesh, Robert (R) Rockingham 5 Nay
Fields, Dennis (R) Belknap 2 Not voting/excused
Flanders, Donald (R) Belknap 4 Nay
Flanders, John (R) Rockingham 8 Nay
Fleck, Joseph (R) Carroll 5 Nay
Flurey, Joan (D) Hillsborough 16 Not voting/excused
Foose, Robert (D) Merrimack 1 Yea
Ford, Susan (D) Grafton 3 Yea
Foster, Linda (D) Hillsborough 4 Yea
French, Barbara (D) Merrimack 5 Yea
Friedrich, Carol (D) Grafton 6 Yea
Gagne, Larry (R) Hillsborough 13 Nay
Gagnon, Raymond (D) Sullivan 4 Yea
Gandia, Laura (R) Hillsborough 27 Nay
Garcia, Marilinda (R) Rockingham 4 Nay
Gargasz, Carolyn (R) Hillsborough 5 Nay
Garrity, James (R)/(D) Rockingham 6 Nay
Garrity, Patrick (D) Hillsborough 14 Not voting/not excused
Gidge, Kenneth (D) Hillsborough 24 Yea
Gile, Mary (D) Merrimack 10 Yea
Ginsburg, Ruth (D) Hillsborough 20 Yea
Gionet, Edmond (R) Grafton 3 Nay
Gleason, John (R) Rockingham 5 Yea
Goley, Jeffrey (D) Hillsborough 8 Yea
Gorman, Mary (D) Hillsborough 23 Yea
Gottling, Suzanne (D) Sullivan 3 Yea
Gould, Franklin (D) Grafton 11 Yea
Gould, Kenneth (R) Rockingham 5 Yea
Graham, John (R) Hillsborough 18 Nay
Grassie, Anne (D) Strafford 1 Not voting/excused
Griffin, Mary (R) Rockingham 4 Nay
Groen, Warren (R) Strafford 1 Nay
Hackel, Paul (D) Hillsborough 21 Yea
Haefner, Robert (R) Hillsborough 27 Nay
Hagan, Joseph (R) Rockingham 7 Nay
Haley, Robert (D) Hillsborough 14 Not voting/not excused
Hamm, Christine (D) Merrimack 4 Not voting/excused
Hammond, Jill (D) Hillsborough 3 Yea
Harding, Laurie (D) Grafton 11 Yea
Hardy, Valerie (D) Hillsborough 27 Yea
Harris, Sandra (D) Sullivan 4 Yea
Harvey, Philip (D) Hillsborough 1 Yea
Harvey, Suzanne (D) Hillsborough 21 Yea
Hatch, William (D) Coos 3 Yea
Hawkins, Ken (R) Hillsborough 18 Nay
Headd, James (R) Rockingham 3 Nay
Hebert, Roger (D) Hillsborough 12 Yea
Henson, John (D) Rockingham 13 Yea
Hess, David (R) Merrimack 9 Nay
Hikel, John (R) Hillsborough 7 Nay
Hinch, Richard (R) Hillsborough 19 Nay
Hinkle, Peyton (R) Hillsborough 19 Nay
Hodges, Kevin (D) Hillsborough 7 Yea
Hoelzel, Kathleen (R) Rockingham 2 Nay
Hofemann, Roland (D) Strafford 6 Yea
Hogan, Edith (R) Hillsborough 25 Nay
Holden, Frank (R) Hillsborough 4 Nay
Holden, Rip (R) Hillsborough 7 Nay
Hopper, Gary (R) Hillsborough 7 Nay
Horrigan, Timothy (D) Strafford 7 Yea
Houde-Quimby, Charlotte (D) Sullivan 1 Yea
Howard, Doreen (D) Rockingham 12 Nay
Howard, Thomas (R) Sullivan 2 Nay
Hubbard, Pamela (D) Strafford 1 Yea
Hunt, John (R) Cheshire 7 Nay
Hutchinson, Gina (D) Rockingham 5 Yea
Hutchinson, Karen (R) Rockingham 3 Nay
Hutz, Sarah (D) Strafford 5 Not voting/excused
Infantine, William (R) Hillsborough 13 Nay
Ingbretson, Paul (R) Grafton 5 Nay
Ingersoll, Paul (D) Coos 4 Nay
Ingram, Russell (R) Rockingham 4 Nay
Introne, Robert (R) Rockingham 3 Nay
Irwin, Anne-Marie (D) Hillsborough 3 Yea
Itse, Daniel (R) Rockingham 9 Nay
Jasper, Shawn (R) Hillsborough 27 Nay
Jeudy, Jean (D) Hillsborough 10 Not voting/excused
Johnson, Jane (R) Cheshire 6 Nay
Johnson, William (D) Belknap 5 Yea
Kaen, Naida (D) Strafford 7 Yea
Kappler, L. Mike (R) Rockingham 2 Nay
Katsakiores, George (R) Rockingham 5 Nay
Katsakiores, Phyllis (R) Rockingham 5 Nay
Katsiantonis, George (D) Hillsborough 17 Yea
Katsiantonis, Thomas (D) Hillsborough 15 Not voting/excused
Keans, Sandra (D) Strafford 1 Yea
Kelley, John (D) Hillsborough 26 Nay
Kelly, Sally (D) Merrimack 7 Yea
Kepner, Susan (D) Rockingham 15 Yea
Kidder, David (R) Merrimack 1 Nay
Knowles, John (D) Hillsborough 27 Yea
Knowles, Mary Ann (D) Hillsborough 27 Yea
Knox, J. David (R) Carroll 4 Nay
Kolodziej, Walter (R) Rockingham 4 Nay
Komi, Richard (D) Hillsborough 12 Yea
Kopka, Angeline (D) Hillsborough 26 Yea
Kotowski, Frank (R) Merrimack 9 Nay
Kurk, Neal (R) Hillsborough 7 Nay
L'Heureux, Robert (R) Hillsborough 19 Nay
Ladd, Rick (R) Grafton 5 Nay
Laliberte, Suzanne (D) Grafton 10 Yea
LaPlante, Roland (D) Hillsborough 26 Nay
Laurent, John (R) Cheshire 1 Nay
Lauterborn, Elaine (D) Strafford 1 Yea
Leishman, Peter (D) Hillsborough 3 Yea
Lerandeau, Alfred (D) Cheshire 6 Yea
Levasseur, Nickolas (D) Hillsborough 11 Yea
Levesque, Melanie (D) Hillsborough 5 Yea
Lewis, Robert (D) Strafford 6 Nay
Lindsey, Steven (D) Cheshire 3 Yea
Lisle, Carolyn (D) Hillsborough 26 Yea
Lockwood, Priscilla (R) Merrimack 6 Yea
Long, Patrick (D) Hillsborough 10 Yea
Lyons, Melissa (D) Rockingham 8 Yea
Mack, Ron (D) Hillsborough 1 Yea
Maiola, Anthony (R) Sullivan 2 Not voting/excused
Major, Norman (R) Rockingham 8 Nay
Mann, Maureen (D) Rockingham 1 Yea
Marshall, Seth (D) Hillsborough 23 Yea
Matarazzo, Anthony (D) Hillsborough 20 Not voting/not excused
Matheson, Robert (D) Grafton 4 Yea
Maybeck, Margie (R) Grafton 8 Nay
McCarthy, Barbara (D) Rockingham 5 Yea
McCarthy, Michael (R) Hillsborough 21 Nay
McClammer, Jim (D) Sullivan 5 Yea
McConkey, Mark (R) Carroll 3 Nay
McEachern, Paul (D) Rockingham 16 Yea
McGuire, Carol (R) Merrimack 8 Nay
McKinney, Betsy (R) Rockingham 3 Nay
McMahon, Charles (R) Rockingham 4 Nay
McMahon, Patricia (D) Merrimack 3 Yea
Mead, Robert (R) Hillsborough 4 Nay
Meader, David (D) Cheshire 3 Yea
Mears, Lucy (D) Coos 4 Yea
Merrick, Evalyn (D) Coos 2 Yea
Merrick, Scott (D) Coos 2 Yea
Merry, Liz (D) Belknap 2 Yea
Messier, Irene (R) Hillsborough 17 Yea
Miller, Kate (D) Belknap 3 Yea
Millham, Alida (R) Belknap 5 Yea
Mitchell, Bonnie (D) Cheshire 7 Yea
Moody, Marcia (D) Rockingham 12 Yea
Moran, Edward (R) Hillsborough 18 Nay
Movsesian, Lori (D) Hillsborough 22 Nay
Mulholland, Catherine (D) Grafton 10 Yea
Nedeau, Stephen (R) Belknap 3 Nay
Nevins, Chris (R) Rockingham 15 Nay
Nixon, David (D) Hillsborough 17 Yea
Nord, Susi (D) Rockingham 1 Yea
Nordgren, Sharon (D) Grafton 9 Yea
Norelli, Terie (D) Rockingham 16 Not voting/not excused
O'Brien, Michael (D) Hillsborough 26 Yea
O'Brien, William (R) Hillsborough 4 Nay
O'Neil, James (D) Hillsborough 19 Nay
Ober, Lynne (R) Hillsborough 27 Nay
Ober, Russell (R) Hillsborough 27 Nay
Osborne, Jessie (D) Merrimack 12 Yea
Osgood, Joe (R) Sullivan 4 Nay
Owen, Derek (D) Merrimack 4 Yea
Packard, Sherman (R) Rockingham 3 Nay
Palfrey, David (R) Merrimack 2 Nay
Palmer, Stephen (R) Hillsborough 6 Nay
Pantelakos, Laura (D) Rockingham 16 Yea
Parkhurst, Henry (D) Cheshire 4 Yea
Pastor, Beatriz (D) Grafton 9 Yea
Patten, Betsey (R) Carroll 4 Nay
Pellegrino, Tony (R) Hillsborough 19 Nay
Pepino, Leo (R) Hillsborough 11 Nay
Perkins, Amy (R) Rockingham 14 Nay
Perkins, Lawrence (R) Rockingham 14 Nay
Perry, Robert (D) Strafford 3 Yea
Peterson, Andrew (R) Hillsborough 3 Nay
Petterson, Don (D) Rockingham 10 Yea
Pierce, David (D) Grafton 9 Yea
Pilliod, James (R) Belknap 5 Nay
Pilotte, Maurice (D) Hillsborough 16 Nay
Porter, Margaret (D) Merrimack 8 Yea
Potter, Frances (D) Merrimack 10 Yea
Poznanski, Brian (D) Hillsborough 26 Yea
Pratt, Calvin (R) Hillsborough 7 Nay
Preston, Mark (D) Rockingham 14 Not voting/not excused
Preston, Philip (D) Grafton 8 Yea
Price, Pamela (R) Hillsborough 26 Nay
Price, Susan (D) Strafford 3 Not voting/not excused
Priestley, Anne (R) Rockingham 4 Nay
Quandt, Matt (R) Rockingham 13 Nay
Ramsey, Peter (D) Hillsborough 8 Yea
Rappaport, Laurence (R) Coos 1 Nay
Rausch, James (R) Rockingham 5 Nay
Read, Robin (D) Rockingham 16 Yea
Reagan, John (R) Rockingham 1 Nay
Reed, Dennis (R) Merrimack 2 Nay
Reever, Judith (D) Belknap 4 Yea
Remick, William (R) Coos 2 Nay
Renzullo, Andrew (R) Hillsborough 27 Nay
Rhodes, Brian (D) Hillsborough 22 Not voting/excused
Rice, Chip (D) Merrimack 12 Yea
Richardson, Barbara (D) Cheshire 5 Yea
Richardson, Gary (D) Merrimack 4 Yea
Richardson, Herbert (R) Coos 2 Nay
Roberts, John (R) Carroll 3 Nay
Roberts, Kris (D) Cheshire 3 Yea
Robertson, Timothy (D) Cheshire 3 Yea
Rodd, Beth (D) Merrimack 5 Yea
Rodeschin, Beverly (R) Sullivan 2 Nay
Rogers, Rose Marie (D) Strafford 1 Yea
Rokas, Theodoros (D) Hillsborough 12 Not voting/excused
Rollo, Deanna (D) Strafford 2 Yea
Rollo, Michael (D) Strafford 2 Yea
Rosenwald, Cindy (D) Hillsborough 22 Yea
Rous, Emma (D) Strafford 7 Yea
Rowe, Robert (R) Hillsborough 6 Nay
Russell, David (R) Belknap 6 Nay
Russell, Joseph (D) Rockingham 13 Yea
Russell, Trinka (D) Rockingham 13 Yea
Ryder, Donald (R) Hillsborough 5 Nay
Ryder, Mark (D) Strafford 6 Yea
Sad, Tara (D) Cheshire 2 Yea
Sanders, Elisabeth (R) Rockingham 7 Not voting/excused
Sapareto, Frank (R) Rockingham 5 Nay
Scala, Dino (R) Carroll 5 Nay
Scamman, Stella (R) Rockingham 13 Nay
Scamman, W. Douglas (R) Rockingham 13 Nay
Schlachman, Donna (D) Rockingham 13 Yea
Schmidt, Peter (D) Strafford 4 Yea
Schuett, Dianne (D) Merrimack 7 Yea
Schulze, Joan (D) Hillsborough 26 Yea
Sedensky, John (R) Rockingham 8 Nay
Seidel, Carl (R) Hillsborough 20 Nay
Shattuck, Gilman (D) Hillsborough 1 Yea
Shaw, Barbara (D) Hillsborough 16 Yea
Shaw, Kimberly (D) Hillsborough 26 Nay
Shurtleff, Stephen (D) Merrimack 10 Yea
Silva, Peter (R) Hillsborough 26 Nay
Skinder, Carla (D) Sullivan 1 Yea
Smith, Marjorie (D) Strafford 7 Yea
Smith, Suzanne (D) Grafton 7 Yea
Smith, Todd (R) Merrimack 9 Nay
Smith, William (R) Rockingham 18 Nay
Soucy, Connie (R) Hillsborough 17 Nay
Soucy, Timothy (D) Hillsborough 25 Not voting/excused
Spang, Judith (D) Strafford 7 Yea
Spaulding, Jayne (R) Hillsborough 18 Nay
Splaine, James (D) Rockingham 16 Yea
Sprague, Dale (D) Strafford 2 Not voting/not excused
St. Cyr, Jeffrey (R) Belknap 5 Nay
Sterling, Franklin (R) Cheshire 7 Nay
Stetson, William (D) Merrimack 10 Yea
Stevens, Stanley (R) Carroll 4 Nay
Stiles, Nancy (R) Rockingham 15 Nay
Stohl, Eric (R)/(D) Coos 1 Nay
Stuart, Richard (D) Belknap 4 Yea
Sullivan, Daniel (D) Hillsborough 8 Not voting/excused
Sullivan, James (R) Rockingham 1 Nay
Sweeney, Cynthia (D) Sullivan 5 Yea
Swinford, Elaine (R) Belknap 5 Nay
Tahir, Saghir (R) Hillsborough 9 Nay
Taylor, Kathleen (D) Grafton 2 Yea
Theberge, Robert (D) Coos 4 Yea
Thomas, Yvonne (D) Coos 4 Yea
Thompson, Robert (D) Hillsborough 9 Yea
Tilton, Joy (D) Merrimack 6 Yea
Townsend, Charles (D) Grafton 10 Yea
Tucker, Pamela (R) Rockingham 17 Nay
Tupper, Frank (D) Merrimack 6 Yea
Twombly, James (R) Strafford 1 Nay
Ulery, Jordan (R) Hillsborough 27 Nay
Umberger, Karen (R) Carroll 1 Nay
Vachon, Dennis (D) Strafford 3 Yea
Vaillancourt, Steve (R) Hillsborough 15 Yea
Van Patten, Don (R) Rockingham 8 Not voting/excused
Veazey, John (R) Belknap 4 Nay
Villeneuve, Moe (R) Hillsborough 18 Nay
Vita, Carol (R) Strafford 3 Nay
Wall, Janet (D)/(R) Strafford 7 Yea
Wallner, Mary Jane (D) Merrimack 12 Yea
Walsh, Robert (D) Hillsborough 11 Yea
Walz, Mary Beth (D) Merrimack 13 Yea
Ward, Brien (R) Grafton 1 Nay
Ward, Kenneth (D) Strafford 2 Yea
Watrous, Rick (D) Merrimack 12 Yea
Watters, David (D) Strafford 4 Yea
Weare, Everett (R) Rockingham 14 Nay
Webb, Leigh (D) Merrimack 2 Yea
Webber, Carolyn (D) Rockingham 4 Yea
Weber, Lucy (D) Cheshire 2 Yea
Weed, Charles (D) Cheshire 3 Yea
Welch, David (R) Rockingham 8 Nay
Wells, Roger (R) Rockingham 8 Not voting/excused
Wendelboe, Fran (R) Belknap 1 Not voting/excused
Wheeler, Deborah (D) Merrimack 6 Yea
White, Andrew (D) Grafton 11 Yea
Wiley, Susan (D) Carroll 3 Yea
Willette, Robert (R) Hillsborough 6 Nay
Williams, Burton (R) Grafton 8 Nay
Williams, Carol (D) Hillsborough 14 Yea
Williams, Robert (D) Merrimack 11 Yea
Winters, Joel (D) Hillsborough 17 Yea
Yeaton, Charles (D) Merrimack 8 Yea
The bill passed the Senate, 14-10, earlier in the day on a party-line vote.
Senator Party District Vote
Barnes, Jr., John (R) 17 Nay
Bradley, Jeb (R) 3 Nay
Bragdon, Peter (R) 11 Nay
Carson, Sharon (R) 14 Nay
Cilley, Jacalyn (D) 6 Yea
D'Allesandro, Lou (D) 20 Yea
DeVries, Betsi (D) 18 Yea
Downing, Michael (R) 22 Nay
Fuller Clark, Martha (D) 24 Yea
Gallus, John (R) 1 Nay
Gatsas, Theodore (R) 16 Nay
Gilmour, Peggy (D) 12 Yea
Hassan, Margaret (D) 23 Yea
Houde, Matthew (D) 5 Yea
Janeway, Harold (D) 7 Yea
Kelly, Molly (D) 10 Yea
Larsen, Sylvia (D) 15 Yea
Lasky, Bette (D) 13 Yea
Letourneau, Robert (R) 19 Nay
Merrill, Amanda (D) 21 Yea
Odell, Bob (R) 8 Nay
Reynolds, Deborah (D) 2 Yea
Roberge, Sheila (R) 9 Nay
Sgambati, Kathleen (D) 4 Yea
You are being a bit dramatic. Come on. Use commonsense. Despite this wonderful law being passed, as an educator I feel self conscious and nervous even acknowledging I am gay because there are so many hateful and judgmental people out there such as those on this blog. What you spread is hate and that is wrong. If you don't like it, then don't pay attention. A gay couple can still have a loving family and what they do in their bedroom is irrelevant. There many nice people who respect people for who and what they are as well, but I fear the hate. Thank you to the nice people. Thank you Gov. Lynch.
- MS, Manchester, NH
I say let them marry. Let them adopt. Look at the straight married people with more kids than they can afford living off of welfare. Like that's any better. Being straight doesn't make you any better than someone who is gay. If you ignorant people don't like it, move to a country that doesn't allow freedoms. Stop picking pieces of the bible that fit your argument and ignoring the ones that contradict it. Unreal.
- Jason, Merrimack, NH
ya know, if you don't like gay marriage or even the gay lifestyle ... just don't do it. But just because it doesn't appeal to you, it doesn't mean you have some moral obligation to push your beliefs on others, like your the Jehovahs of sexual preferences.
I'm an Agnostic, but I'll still support your legal right to believe in whatever ridiculous superstition that makes up your church. I don't drink, but I'm not clamoring to make beer and alcohol illegal to match the state laws on other drugs. I'm not gay, but I'll still support the right for two people to get married. These things don't affect me, so why would I want to make things difficult for others?
A country that supposedly appreciates diversity, liberty, and freedom shouldn't be so smug about trying to assign second-class status to it's citizens. The same people who are quick to put down the old social class system don't see that they're doing the same thing here.
- mike, manchester
I think Bob from Bedford should mind his own business and remember that even conservatives have a right to their opinion. Bob you should move to Mass with the rest of the dems and liberals. Dave and nick should not be proud this is a big disappointment for NH. NH shoul be ashamed of itself and anyone who supports this disgusting law should be ashamed. NH is now officially liberal and should just become part of Mass.
- Paul, Manchester
I am completely taken back by most of these comments here on this article. As so many supporters have stated; why must people find it their obligation to point fingers at a group of people who are only trying to obtain equal rights? Why is my marriage less important? As a gay man who was "married" in a commitment ceremony in 2006 then legally obtained a civil union in 2008 what happened on June 3 was a monumental day for our family. Our daughter who was born last summer deserves two committed MARRIED parents. Perhaps some of you who write so eloquently and spread words of intolerance and HATE should focus on your own marriage and deal with your own issues. This marriage bill shouldn't be about money like people say it is. It's about acceptance and about doing what's right. To say NH sold out is just plain wrong. We are just regular plain old NH residents living the dream and paying taxes just like everyone else and finally for the first time since I've lived in NH have I truly felt equal. To Governor Lynch, Senate members and members of the House thank you for hearing our voices. To those of you who will no doubt criticize my post I wish you a good day and say don't sweat the small stuff, there are certainly more pressing issues than us for you to worry about.
- Jeff, Salem, NH
Mark of Bedford, please let me address your comments. First and foremost, let me repeat myself, you are not my or anyone else's judge. If you are so smart about what is or is not catholic, you would know that.
Second, don't confuse the topic of discussion here. We were not discussing a 40 yr old male having sex with a 14 yr old girl. Stick to the topic at hand. If you ever want to have a debate, whether religious or otherwise, I am certainly up to the challenge, but not in this forum.
Third, and most importantly, MARRIAGE IS NOT ABOUT RELIGION! Marriage is a CIVIL UNION, not a RELIGIOUS ONE. Because some of us, myself included, choose to make my marriage about religion, does not mean that everyone else has to!
And lastly, are you not familiar with the phrase, do unto others as you would have done unto you? I'm asking for respect of another human being and their choices! Again, it has nothing to do with you, your personal beliefs, or your religion, etc. Separate the two. Live your life as you see fit, raise your children as you see fit, but in the course of doing so, don't demean, belittle, put down or negate someone else's choices simply because they do not agree with yours. Be a good person by treating others with respect, appreciation and kindness for who they are. And say what you will, but I am a Catholic and VERY PROUD of it! And I PERSONALLY follow the beliefs of the church. See, I can separate the two, why can't you?
- Lori, Manchester
Does anyone know why this was not put up for vote? I do the answer would have been NO!!
- Paul, Milford
Yes, a very big rush to get this passed and signed....let this be a warning to any state considering civil unions as a "compromise".... it's just a sham to push extremist views to the max. Any opposition will be branded as "discrimination". NH has been (cheaply) sold off to the out of state interests that control legislator's campaign coffers. They can't let the people of NH speak on it, they won't get to dictate the results. All in the name of "diversity",of course.
- Mae, Plaistow
So, Mark in Bedford, you are the arbitor of who is a Catholic huh? Has it ever occured to you that the church has evolved...ever so slowly...over time? Four hundred years ago you were a heretic if you believed that the Earth revolved around the sun. But the church eventually changed their position. One thousand years ago a fetus wasn't considered to be a human until the "quickening" when the soul entered the body as evidenced by hearing the unborn baby's heartbeat. The Catholic Church has been a force for good and a force for evil over the years. It has constantly changed and continues to change because of dissent from without AND within. The current Bishop of Manchester pretends to have the moral authority to lecture us on the evils of gay marriage. Yet he doesn't have the simple decency to resign from his position after being the point man in the pedophile priest coverup in the archdiocese of Boston. He has single handedly caused more hurt and harm than 1000 gay couples could ever dream of causing.
The church hierarchy says that he is our spiritual leader. I and thousands of other New Hampshire Catholics disagree. Does that mean that we aren't Catholics Mark??? We disagree with Rome on this issue. But that doesn't mean that we aren't Catholics. In fact, I would state that YOU aren't Christian based of your obvious lack of love for your fellow man.
No Catholic Priest will be forced to perform gay marriage. No religion will be forced to go against its doctrine. Therefore this is not your or my business. Marriage is a religious issue. The state shouldn't endorse any form of marriage. It should only offer civil unions. According to Pope Mark of Bedford, if you get married without the intent of having children then THAT marriage is a sham. Yet I look around me at St. Elizabeth's in Bedford on Sunday and see many, many neighbors with their 2nd or 3rd wife or husband and no intent of having children.
I work with a lesbian who has two adopted children and she is one of the most wonderful parents I know. She also is a devoted church goer in a different Christian faith than mine. What she does causes no harm on me. She is raising her children with caring and love. If all the parents I know cared as much about their children this would be such a better world.
To sum, I think that Mark and his ilk should practice what they preach and let the Lord judge. It's ok, he doesn't need your help Mark!
- Bob, Bedford
I have been in a commited "straight" relationship for over 28 years. Neither of us wanted a marraige and till circumstances in employment would have letft one of us without health insurance we just lived as if married. Had the 2007 NH civil union law included opposte sex couples we would have opted for that not marraige. It would be fne with me if government avoided marraige and sanctioned only civil ceremonies performed by appointed or elected officials such as the chief of police who performed ours and left marriage in the hands of religions and their followers.
- Dave B, Bennington
"The bills allow any two adults to marry." That's "ANY two", ladies and gentlemen.
How long before it comes down to brother and sister, mother and niece/nephew, or any other combination?
Think it's farfetched? Never happen? Never say never. The camel's nose is in the tent (or is that too politically incorrect?).
- Guy Plante, Manchester
You will never be recognized by those who believe in tradtional marriage, no one can make us change our view. It is not an attack on gay people at all.
You still get divorced like the rest.
- rick, manchester
The institution of marriage was destroyed when the government sanctioned divorce and society accepted it.
If you are opposed to gay marriage and not equally opposed to divorce then there is no validity in your point of view.
If you are opposed to gay marriage and have been divorced yourself then you are far more responsible for the destruction of the institution of marriage than any gay couple.
The government should never have been involved in marriage in the first place. If the word "marriage" is sacred to you based on your religion then you should have already had a lengthy battle to take it back from the government.
Any biblical argument is meaningless as there is only one document that pertains to matters of law; the US Constitution.
I will gladly argue a biblical argument with anyone provided you agree that no parts of the Bible are off limits. If I am able to use all of God's Word then the anti-gay crowd cannot win. Surely, all the Christians here would love to school me on the ways of the Lord. Swear that you believe all of the Bible and let's see how this shakes out.
- John R, Keene
It is unbelievable that this is what it takes to get the Republicans fired up against Lynch! Further proof how far the party in this state has come from its small government, fiscal conservative roots. I could care less who people marry. We have so many bigger problems. Mr. Ethics has certainly broken his word though. So much for that campaign slogan, huh Johnny? There are so many other reasons why Lynch should be gone already - the state deficit is chief among them. And soon we will gamble our way out of laying off state employees who should be trimmed just like companies in the private sector. So, all you "Republicans for Lynch", you are as much if not more to blame for the situation in our state as the democrats. I am proud to say that I never voted for Lynch. Was Benson really such a bad guy or was he just made to look bad by the incompetent hacks in Concord who were threatened by his real cost cutting? We need a newcomer fiscal conservative to make a run for Governor. If you are out there, please step forward - now is the time to emerge.
- Diane, Tilton
Another vote you have lost Gov. Sell Out and any Rep. in my voting district!
- Tom Trombley, Manchester, NH
Moderation is defeated. We are subject to the extremes.
- Serena, Manchester
...with liberty and justice for all...
Being gay is not a lifestyle or a choice or a leaning.
Bravo to the LIVE FREE OR DIE state. This is not about tolerance but acceptance. Straight normally married couples have children and sometimes those children are gay. This law is about equality. Loving someone of the same sex is about human beings being honest with themselves in a climate that is often hostile to them. We need to remember to keep church and state separate.
Even Dick Cheney gets it. This is not about religion it is about a commitment between to loving adults recognized by the state.
We need to let go of fear of what we do not understand. Christ said we should love thy neighbor as thyself---He was never intolerant, He was forgiving.
Why is there so much anger about this law?
Granting equal rights to all is fair and just.
- Joanne Bussiere, Oakland Ca
What is marriage?
- patrick dwyer, londonderry
I would urge to let the people of the state decide on this matter.
I am concerned over the fallout from this event and I would have liked to see stronger language protecting parents.
When schools introduce this material in curriculum in grade schools, parents must be offered freedom of conscience to abstain.
Freedom of conscience must be preserved, so that parents will be able to dissent any introduction to these topics in schools.
Religous and moral beliefs must be offered the same importance and protection as political affiliation, or advocates of any explosive affiliation. Further, they are due as much respect and deserve as much tolerance as advocates of this law demand.
Not only does this day introduce a new law, or series of laws, but many other unimaginable consequences will come from this.
If you wish me to accept you, accept me;
If you wish me to respect your lifestyle decisions or conviction, respect mine.
And if you wish me to keep my convictions and beliefs private....then please do the same!
- Eric, Concord
So much ignorance so little time.
First and foremost not one of you who is opposed to this law has explained in any coherent way how this will affect you or anybody else for that matter. All this law does is grant 10% of the population equal rights under the law, which is how it should be.
Secondly Last time I checked this was America and in America all men (and women) are created equal. This is not the Middle East and this country is not bound by religion it is bound by the constitution. If the Bible bound us our women would still be wearing Burkas and be treated as property and servants.
And finally the only threat to marriage in America is divorce so rather than worry about what other people are doing go home, turn your computers and TVs off, man up (or woman up) and make your own marriage work so we don’t have to deal with a 50% + divorce rate.
The saddest part about this argument is that I’m sure that most of those people centuries ago who were standing in a circle preparing to stone Mary Magdolin to death felt the same way about her as you do about gay people. The difference is that given the same choice “ Let he without sin cast the first stone” many of you would throw the stones anyway.
Leave these people alone, they’re not hurting anybody.
For the record I’m a straight white male who has been very happily married for 17 years. My best wishes to all may your marriages be as wonderful and happy as mine has been.
- Jim, Raymond NH
"With secular progressism taken over the state, this is no longer the state that I shall continue to live in. I will move to Florida, where queer marriage and end of the death penalty will never take place there.
- Robert Real, Farmington"
Several thoughts on this:
---UL: you claim "comments that are in bad taste...will not be approved." And yet, you publish a comment referencing "queer marriage?" Yikes.
---Robbo: please, move to Florida. The sooner, the better.
---For all of those so adamant against homosexuals in your vitriolic statements...methinks the lady doth protest too much...
- Roy, Pembroke
I can say quite honestly that the State that I have loved has been slipping away and is being destroyed by the decisions of our Democratic House, Senate, and Governor.
I will not be voting for a single Democrat in the next election because at this point I think there is not one who is truly interested in serving in the best interests of our State. Not one who is interested in protecting or preserving our family values. Not one who is interested in helping businesses succeed. Not one who cares about the struggles of the working class. Not one who is not deceptive about the introduction of new taxes.
Instead, I now firmly believe that Democrats are only interested in serving those who are considered the "elite" in this State and fulfilling their own self serving agenda's.
I'll be voting Republican come the next election. For the sake of this State, which I remember as being morally upstanding, fiscally responsible, and a beautiful place to raise children with traditional values firmly in place, I hope the Republicans will bring us back to that place again.
- Ron, Manchester
Thanks Gov. Lynch. Your choice is much appreciated. Thanks for seeing that this is a civil rights issue.
- JT, MA
WAY TO GO LORI OF MANCHESTER!@!@!! Well stated and oh-so-well said. Thank YOU!
- Joel, Nashua
Imagine that....who would have thunk that a gay couple’s marriage would be EQUAL to my heterosexual marriage. You mean...gay people are not illegitimate, illegal, immoral, illicit and mentally ill, but are in fact integrated, moral, legal, legitimate and licit just like heterosexuals…when I look into a mirror I expect to see myself exactly reflected back…when I look at heterosexual married couples I also like to see myself reflected in their experience…so now when I see a married gay couple, I’m suppose to see their marriage as identical to mine? Are gay people really equal to me? Guess then that I am equal to them and if that weren’t enough, my marriage is equal to theirs….WOW…I’m equal to a gay person…..Imagine that! If not, then how am I not equal to them? Anyone to suggest how I am or am not equal to gay people.
- Ray, Greenville
I'm making a t-shirt that says, "June 3, 2009: Live Free and Be Fabulous." Hooray for New Hampshire!
- Evan, Londonderry
Mark my words..."Gov. Lynch will not be re-elected in 2010" This was his chance to stay true to his beliefs. I am disappointed in you Gov. Lynch!! You were the one democrat that I could stomach. This state mind as well be Massachusetts now.
Republicans need to be in power...People are waking up to the liberals!!
- Brian, Pembroke
Lori: No. You aren't a Catholic. You may attend a Catholic church but you certainly don't follow the beliefs of the Catholic church...hence, you aren't Catholic.
Secondly, it has "no direct effect on my life" if a forty year old man has sex with a fourteen year old girl. Is that now the litmus test for right and wrong? Please let all of us "stupid, close minded people" know if that is the case. If so, I'd like some laws changed to suit my likes.
Finally, a marriage is a union between a man and a woman designed around the legitimization of any children that might come about from that relationship. That's it Lori. That's what marriage is. Any sociologist (who is being honest) will tell you the same thing.
So, "gay marriage" is marriage in name only. It's kind of like you calling yourself Catholic!
- Mark, Bedford
Representation? What representation? They didn't dare put it to a public vote. Let's see how that along with the Democrat's tax & spend budget boondoggle works out for them in the next election.
And let's not forget;
If the NH far Left had its way, the original intent of this bill would've been a de-facto ban on the freedom of religion, a proxy set forth by the likelihood of future homosexually based "discrimination lawsuits". It's rather asinine of the far Left to espouse about gay marriage rights / "equality", when they cared not to protect 1st Amendment for people of faith.
Clearly the NH far Left had no qualms about violating the 1st Amendment of the Constitution. That hypocrisy alone speaks for itself.
The gay marriage issue is window dressing for the grander radical Left's ominous piecemeal agenda - abolishment of religion. Religion is a threat to their (Neo-Marxist) absolute power structure, they view it as a competing ideology. Leftist ideology espouses forced atheism - take for example various Socialist and Communist countries which have outlawed religious freedom.
There is no Democratic Party. It's funded and controlled by wealthy globalists, international Socialists, Eco-terrorists, and Neo-Communists. The Party of George Sorros is intending on the destruction of our Constitution, one piecemeal micro-agenda at a time.
- Mac Wade, Newmarket
It ain't over yet..."the fat lady hasn't sang" (by the way, she is married to a man)
- Ron, Merrimack, NH
Why, no matter how many times it is said, can people not understand that the law is Civil not moral or religious or brought by God? To get a license to WED is a civil right. No one is asking for a union sanctified by your God, just one equal under the law!
How can a person who claims faith be so judgmental and hateful? Isn't that God's job?
Not my God! The God I love and that loves my Heterosexual self also loves the two guys living together next door and the two women down the street.
How sad that your eyes are so filled with superiority that you miss the Human standing in front of you!
I will pray for you!
- Alex, Hampton
So church leaders such as Bishop McCormack are vocally coming out against this law which only has an effect on a small percentage of the NH population. Their objections are that their sciptures don't condone this sort of behavior. That's fine, because the Holy Bible, the Koran, the Torah, nor any religion's text dictates the law for anyone that does not follow their faith. No religious denomination that is against this issue will be performing thair marriage ceremonies for gays now that the law has been passed, just as they have not been doing until today.
The reason the law stands apart from religious doctrines is because everyone knows that their faith the only correct one. Well, the law allows you to practice your beliefs, not to impose them on everyone else. What you do in your house of worship is your business, or the business of your faith's leaders.
I recall a time when marriage was permanent. How many people out there today would want that written into law? The concept of divorce was created in conjunction with the concept of marriage. The only part that's changed is the degree of difficulty in getting one granted. Again, no one religion can dictate this for everyone.
For those that say this law is discriminatory because it now only includes pairs of same-sex couples with traditional couples I'd like to point out that you are ruining your own argument, because that would mean that the law was MORE discriminatory prior to this change. People that the law previously discriminated against lobbied to have it changed, and now it is LESS discriminatory. Granted, it still only recognizes monogamy, but maybe that's because there's few - if any- people in NH that want more than one spouse.
My last point is in regards to Governor Lynch. Many people have been going after him for signing this bill into law despite the fact that he said he was against gay marriage. I think you would have a difficult time finding any lawmaker that doesn't know the meaning of the word compromise. Lynch would not have signed this law if the crafters had not added the section that allows each religious organization to decide if they want to want to perform ceremonies for gay couples. So he can be personally against gay marriage, and choose his own faith that supports that view, but still sign a law that recognizes marriages by other religions. That's that compromise is.
- Mark, Gorham, NH
New Hampshire is getting just what it voted for by giving control of everything to the Democrats in 2006 - social engineering, elimination of traditional marriage, higher taxes, etc. These radicals are just getting warmed up - more of this insanity to follow. Gov Flynch stands for nothing. Wake up and vote them all out of office in 2010!
- Peter, Brookline
- Peter, Brookline
The liberals posting here, as usual, just don't get it. It must be easy to spew a bunch of straw-man arguments and accuse all your opponents of being 'hateful' religious nuts.
But I've read through many of these posts, and I have yet to see one that says homosexuality should be criminalized, or even that the civil union law should be repealed. The thing that people can't accept is that now homosexual unions can be called 'marriages'. Yes, just a word, as many of you have noted. But people have fought over words before. Why? Because they're supposed to mean something. Or at least, they used to.
Others have noted why comparisons to injustices against blacks and women don't apply here. (Doesn't matter to the liberals, of course, they just keep on ranting). What we have with gay 'marriage' is the invention of a right that never existed. The liberals yell that homosexuality has always been here. Sure, but that's not the point, now is it?
Thanks to the posters who have pointed out that you don't need to be a religious nut - or even *have* a religion - to be opposed to this. Homosexuality is not a positive trait, whether it's genetically determined or chosen. Say I have a hereditary mental illness that makes me think cars look like bicycles. I can't help it, and my opinion is as valid as anyone's, after all. Does that mean I get to drive my car in the bike lane?
Others have also dealt with the 'it doesn't affect you, so get over it' argument. I'll only add that living in a society where the government can blithely redefine a tradition of hundreds of years' standing makes me nervous, to say the least.
- Eric, Manchester
Three cheers for the red, white and especially the BLUE! Another PROUD first for NH. The only state in the union that is completely boardered on all sides by states and a country that recognize marriage equality. And a PROUD day for New England which now officially leads the nation in tolerance and non descrimination.
- Greg Barrett, Manchester
Great post Lori! You took the words out of my mouth. Too bad more people don't think this way. The world would be a much better place.
- Judi, Manchester
a sad day in history!
- Rob, Auburn
First, they worked to deny the gays protection against discrimination.
Then, they worked to deny the gays the right to form civil unions.
Finally they worked to deny gays the right to marry.
They're not against marriage, they're not against civil unions, they're not against non-discrimination................
They just hate gays!
Shame on the nays! Praise to the gays for their struggle for equality!
- Frank, Merrimack
Christine sez: "Who's to say that two people of the same sex in a marriage is wrong?"
Who's to say that a brother and sister marrying is wrong?
Who's to say that a group of people marrying is wrong?
Who's to say that an old man and a young boy marrying is wrong?
Who's to say that a man and donkey marrying is wrong?
And who says YOU get to draw the line, you liberal hypocrite? It suits your agenda, so you move the line, and then hold it against all those that are now the fringe beyond you. Hypocrites, and selfish. That's a liberal for you.
- Adam Anders, Derry
When did it become the "norm" that sex needs to be discussed everywhere all the time? We as a country have become hyperstimulated.
End result, sex sells, sex makes news.
It it no longer about equal rights, Civil Unions defined gay commitments, but they just couldn't let it go.
On the next slow news day, there will be another story, about sex, sexual activity or sexual lifestyles.
It is painfully obvious that we are forgetting about what our country needs right now. Commited officials who can put our country back together and focus on serious issues.
- Holly, Manchester
The House of Representatives website does not list Speaker Norelli as "Not voting/not excused" as the Editor's note alleges. It lists her as "Presiding."
*** (Editor's note: We're both right. The roll call posted earlier today at the end of the story above is from http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/nhgcrollcalls/rollcallsbyvotedetail.aspx) ***
- Dan, Manchester
To Lori, in Manchester, the married wife with two teenage kids - kudos to you for an excellent post, and thank you. I only wish more citizens of this state were as intelligent and well spoken as you. God bless you and your family.
- Rob, Manchester
Governor Lynch promised Moderation and Bipartisanship instead he is throwing way the conservative values that New Hampshire once stood for, which native’s of New Hampshire were once proud of, and with every passing day, Governor Lynch brings New Hampshire down to its conservative knees, and recreates New Hampshire to the Liberal values, and the extreme left of his party that he brought with him from his own home state of Massachusetts, which is why I am sadden when I hear the Governor talk about the rich New Hampshire values, and he really has no idea what they are.
- Tom, Manchester
Say what you want about marriage twixed the sexes, I have another take. The element of this that makes me really upset is the blatant bait and switch of our elected officials (Lynch, case in point). In a State where referendums and initiative are not constitutional, one hopes that there elected officials will live up to their campaign promises and positions. When they don't, it is a heinous betrayal of trust.
All I am asking of our officials... Don't lie to us!
- Tommy Kubish, Hollis
Wow, the Massachusetts and Vermont borders just keep moving north and east, respectively, don't they? What has happened to our state?
- Jim, Chester
I am blown away by the comments about this article. I am furious that there are still such narrow minded, egotistical, ignorant and just plain stupid people in the world! So what if someone is gay and chooses to marry their partner, and you're a hetrosexual. Tell me, what direct effect does that decision have on your life? NOTHING! It is not about you and your beliefs! Live and let live! For goodness sakes! I don't care who anyone wants to marry or for what reasons, all that matters is that they make each other happy and take care of each other. I am a heterosexual, married women with two teenage children who I have taught that no one, and I mean no one has the right to judge another! PERIOD! Unless someone is directly effecting my life or that of my family, I don't care what they do! Pretty soon there will be groups against blondes marrying brunettes, redheads marrying blondes, blue eyed people marrying green eyed people, etc. Can you see where this is going? How juvenile this whole thing is? Let people live their lives as they see fit as long as it does not directly effect you or yours, why do you care? And yes I am catholic and yes I go to church and YES I believe in gay marriage! And you know what, I only have to answer to one ... and when I do get the privilege of meeting HIM/HER that is to who I need to be concerned about how I am judged, not by anyone else. Maybe the rest of you ignorant and judgemental people should start focusing on yourselves and your family life and stop worrying about what your neighbors are doing!
- Lori, Manchester
Everyone thinks this has been the only thing the legislature has been working on, but I think they have been busy at the State House with many other issues including the budget, although without the same press coverage as this one highly interesting and divisive issue. I look forward to the next election, when we will really see if this one law has doomed Democrats as so many commenters feel so confident of. I predict not.
- Brian, W. Manch
I just have to say that too many people here are far too judgmental. You can't have it both ways. Who's to say that two people of the same sex in a marriage is wrong? God? I'm sorry, but we're supposed to have a separation of church and state, so you can't bring that up. I believe in God devoutly, too, but the Bible was written by man and NOT by God. As long as two consenting adults that are not blood related to one another are in love, then who has the right to oppose their marriage? Way to go, New Hampshire! You've made the right decision. :)
- Christine Longden, Manchester
You don't need to hate gay people to be conservative. Why don't you focus on govt spending or loss of civil liberties. Gay marriage should be the least of your concern tru conservatism means strict spending, budget cuts and protection of civil liberties. Too often is it tied in with being extremely religious. That isn't being conservative...that's being religious.
- Kyle, Manchester
What an unfortunate turn of events for NH, allowing them homosexuals to get married. What moral low will society reach next? Next thing you know, we'll be letting them women vote and letting them colored people ride at the front of the bus.
- Jonathan, Seabrook
Tom Fahey has, as he always does, written an excellent piece summing up the progress of this legislation. It would be a fine tribute to Tom if most of the crowd reacting to this news story went out and bought THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE (Also known as "Strunk and White") and studied it carefully before lurching over to the the computer next time to air your opinions. It's a little hardcover book about a half an inch thick and 4 1/2 inches by 6 inches wide and long [My fourth edition (2000) has a teal -- that's blue-green -- cover when you take the dust jacket off; and there's also a paperback edition], and the book is to be easily found in the "reference" section at Borders or Barnes & Noble at most likely a modest cost, even for the hardcover. My 9th grade English teacher issued me my first copy in September 1966. There may be a fifth or even a sixth edition out by now, for all I know, but I don't imagine that the substance has changed much. The underlying idea is that to be read seriously, you can't write like a moron. And, further, for a lot of you, completion of a high-school level course in logic might help with the delivery.
- J D Cahill, Concord
Bob of Dover makes an excellent point: "Some people still need to learn that if they want to enjoy the benefits of living in a free society, then they need to tolerate what consenting adults do in private." People can't have it both ways. You can't say you value the privileges of freedom and liberty that living in this country provides while simultaneously trying to limit the freedom of liberties of others.
- Steve, MA
I was undecided for 2010 until now.... I will be voting against Governor Lynch and his Democratic Colleagues and will vote for their Republican challengers. With every passing day, New Hampshire becomes more increasingly Liberal... I thought Gov. Lynch promised "Moderation" and "Bipartisanship." Again and again, the Governor settled with the extreme left of his own party...
- Robert, Litchfield
Like other posts here today, I too am proud to live in a state that recognizes gay marriage.
Marriage is a LEGAL concept, not a religious one, that provides equality to all.
I have many gay friends and siblings and am pleased that they now can have the same benefits from marriage as my husband and I can.
- Maureen, Chester
"Senate President Sylvia Larsen said the bills "expand the sense of acceptance and tolerance".
Total acceptance and tolerance can NEVER be legislated. Perhaps that why Ms Larsen included the caviat of the word "sense'.
My "sense" of homesickness for NH has just been cured. Anyone want to buy/rent my gorgeous 4 bed/bath colonial in Londonderry on 6 acres. Great for backyard weddings (sic).
- Annah, Austin TX, formerly Londonderry NH
Maine is circulating a petition in an attempt to override gay marriage. Is the same possible in New Hampshire? I don’t think the voters realized whom/what they voted into office last election cycle. We need to fix this before Jan 2010.
- Ron Lepine, Litchfield
Some people still need to learn that if they want to enjoy the benefits of living in a free society, then they need to tolerate what consenting adults do in private.
- bob, dover
I keep reading the comment that we now have equal rights for "All". Ok then all the couples in an incestuous relationship you can now come out in the open and embrace your feelings and marry your brother, father, cousin etc. After all they are afarid to come out about how they feel and they are in most cases consensual so based on the things I read here it should not be a problem. Those of you who are pediophiles can now show that there are many countries that allow those as young as 12 to be married and use that to get your "right" to marry children. I wonder just what does this bill do to make the federal regulations any different? Oh that's right not a thing so can you explain just what you gained here? A title? One that those who do not believe in this will ever use? I have to wonder how long before the ACLU questions the validity of this law and says churches, religions or those who do not believe in same sex marriage and will not perform this kind of thig are being discriminating? Time will tell and remember the "People" have NOT spoken the wingnuts elected to represent them with out proper representation did so.
- Bill B., Pelham
If the naysayers think the negative posts here change anyone's mind, they are right - they change minds TOWARD supporting gay marriage, because, on balance it is important to not allow narrow mean-spirited minds run our society even if it mean some changes.
We have Biblical calls for death, slanderous cries of perversion and scare tactics about polluting the minds of children. (Some comments decry gays adopting, when that is already done and perfectly legal now.) All these things are ugly not thoughtful, and they only make normal folks to want nothing to do with the fundamentalist fringe.
Gay marriage relies on straight people as supporters, and is a national reaction to the Bush years. People understand better the dark side of fundamentalists after Bush. The claim the Christian high ground but in fact they are all war, jingoism, prejudice, and mean spirit.
So it is actually great to hear from the nasty detractors, without their expressed spite this would not have passed.
- Tom Labrie, Rochester
Contrary to many assertions here, Gov. Lynch just signed a huge DISCRIMINATION bill. Go read it for yourselves if you doubt that fact.
Old law: Marriage is for relationship arrangement A only, at the expense (and intentional discrimination) of all other arrangements B, C, D, E, etc.
New law: Marriage is for relationship arrangement A & B only, at the expense (and intentional discrimination) of all other arrangements C, D, E, etc.
So the question to all the Equality Fighters out there is: are you cool with that? Are you o.k. with this intentional discrimination (bigotry?) writ large into this new bill you are celebrating today?
- Greg, Londonderry
They said passing this would have an effect on traditional marriages. They passed it yesterday and just last night my wife got irritated with me. Coincidence???
- Frank, Dover
Lee, Northwood- It may be true that homosexuality occurs in all species so it may be natural. But it's abnormal; a mutation. If all of us suddenly "became gay", the human species would cease to exist in short order.
- Rick W., Manchester
Brian in Farmington, You're right - Morality doesn't change. Just because these people who want to get married are of the same sex does not mean they have no moral beliefs. They were taught right and wrong from the same public NH school system you were and by parents who grew up in the same generation as yours. Marriage is about two people in love. It is not about the sex of the couple. And by law, it looks like is IS called marriage. Did you even read the other posts? Homosexuality is not a "new fad." It has been around since Ancient Roman times and exists in many species. Maybe you should shut your mouth for your own good, before you spit out more things that discredit you.
- Allison, Portsmouth, NH
"I originally felt strongly opposed to gay marriage, but after some careful thought and consideration of those who are affected by this decision, I have come to support it. Today, I am proud that my state is leading the charge for equality for all!
- Tom, Campton"
I didn't write this. UL - I thought you verified these posts.
- Tom, Campton
Here is a message to Rep. Frank Davis, Diane Schuett, Senate President Sylvia Larsen and Gov. Lynch your days in office are numbered! If you were so convinced that this was truly the will of the people why not let us decide the outcome in the polling booth.
The disappointment and distrust I feel for my current elected officials will be reflected the next time I get to vote!
- Steve, Pembroke, NH
Please continue to speak up for your, uh, cause!
The "fad" here is not people being gay, it is people being discriminatory toward gays, one of the last groups that is still put down without much thought. The ingrained idea that a person is less a person because of their sexuality is headed out the door, just like the opposition to "race mixing" that prevented interracial marriage.
But I encourage you to speak your mind, it hurts nothing, and does not change mine.
- Edward J., Conway
more garbage from the liberals! also, wall, messier, dokmo, bergin, gleason, gould and lockwood all need to be voted out. they are not republicans!
- fpc, manchester
This is what "tolerance" gets you. Give an inch and they take a mile. Next will be mandatory same-sex education in public schools, as they are trying to push in CA.
No more tolerance. It's time to push back, time for a backlash of monumental proportions.
We are not a dying Rome. We will not go quietly into that night of filth and depravity.
They wouldn't even put it to a vote, because they are cowards. So stop tolerating, because you're being played for a fool by hedonistic ideologues with an agenda and no morals at all.
If you think public display of homosexuality is wrong, SAY so. Stop tolerating. They'll try to charge you with a hate crime, but say what's in your heart. If you know it's wrong, if you know it's unnatural....SAY SO! Don't be afraid of this filth, because it's consuming our culture.
- Jason Entres, Hollis
A sad, shameful day. Homosexual "marriage" being foisted upon New Hampshire is symptomatic of an arrogant, out of control, corrupt, unrepresentative government which has taken its arrogance to the extreme in creating this absurdity.
We'll just have to replace these legislators with ones who will remedy this silliness.
- Tom, Campton
- Belinda, Peterborough: Spot on, especially your comment about Rome falling. It is a historical fact that one of the major reasons the Roman Empire fell was that it did not defend its borders against invading northern European tribes.
Government welfare policies provided bread & circuses to pacify the masses--in addition to not effectively defending the borders--led to a failure of the Roman agrarian economy & a breakdown in social order.
The state of California has some of the highest taxes in the nation, & yet it teeters on bankruptcy. When Nancy Pelosi says it is un-American to deport illegal aliens, is it any wonder why?
At least California voters had a chance to vote against same sex marriage--so it is now against California law. What kind of alternate reality are we living in when homosexuals can't marry in California--but they can in NH??? God help us.
- Paul, Sunapee
To all of you who are wondering what to tell your children when they ask questions or see a gay couple in public, I say this:
Tell them that love is a splendored thing, and that it is a NATURAL emotion that happens when they least expect it. Tell them that they can't predict who they will love, only that they will love and be loved throughout their lifetime. And tell that that without love there is an emptiness and loneliness that no one should have to (or be forced to) endure.
Please tell them that it's NOT ok to hate those that love differently, and that it's wrong to love someone that you (or society) says they can't. Try not to raise the same hate-filled, bigoted single-minded people that so many posted here have become.
Tolerance comes in all shapes and sizes. All you have to do is open your eyes and realize that we have all had to tolerate and be tolerated at one time in our lives.
- Kate, Concord
So far I've not read one logical argument opposing same-sex marriage.
Recently I finished reading the second book of Samuel. God didn't seem to mind David having multiple wives and concubines. Now, I'm not advocating polygamy. But I don't see how you can point to tradition, the Bible, or God as the reason why marriage should only be one-man and one-woman. The traditions of the past are too varied for that.
Thankfully, Governor Lynch and the legislature considered same-sex marriage through the prism of our own ideals—not just those of the past.
- Steve, Rochester
This is to address John G- Manchester
What’s next? Adoption? Could you imagine a child having to grow up with 2 mothers, or 2 fathers?
Well John, I was reared by straight parents and I am gay and I have multiple siblings that are straight. I have a partner and we have reared 2 kids since they were children that are now adults and are Straight. They are happy, and proud to call us their Dads. Both are strong, intelligent individuals and one is serving in the military and has no shame in telling others about having two dads.
Love does not have a gender, a bias, or a color. If you rear your children to respect, to have family values, to live life to the fullest, and to take risks in order to learn success and failures you will have giving them tools that are priceless. I feel sad for people like you who have that seeded anger for others and cannot see the good in things. I'll be praying for you since my God, and yes I am Catholic, loves me, my family, and I'm sure he loves you. God bless and I hope that your struggles of anger are lifted.
- James, NH
Bring on the Pedophiles for marriage rights. And Yes, Mormons should not be discriminated against if they choose to have more than one wife, er ... husband,...er "significant other"...er...Applicant B.
To those who think these social agenda driven Democrats will be voted out in 2010, sorry folks. The sheeple outnumber those who can think for themselves in this state now, they "love" Mr. Flinch. Pass the Kool-aid please.
The Old Man JUMPED off the mountain out of utter disgust at what was happening to this once fine State. Welcome to Massachusetts North. Here comes the income tax & sales tax.
To those who CHOOSE to be HOMOSEXUAL, I wish you well and pray for your souls that are lost. By the way, I am gay (meaning HAPPY) in my life, are you now that you have more people angered over the FORCED acknowledgment of your "marriages"?
- Mike, Nottingham
The Immoral Democratic Socialists Party (formerly Decmocrats) strike again. Even though nature has has shown us marriage is between a man and a woman, the immoral Democratic Socialist are too morally bankrupt to understand it.
- Rich D, Dalton
There are vast areas of America where they disdain gays publicly (but there are still plenty of gays,) they use the death penalty as often as possible, expensive guns are bought by households that should be spending on their kid's teeth, and there is nothing on the radio but Christian warrior baloney.
I respectfully suggest that people who don't understand or like how progressive New England is (gay marriage in NH Vt Mass Conn and Me,) move away. This is not Texas or Oklahoma, or Kentucky, or Idaho, this is New England.
- Randall, Manchester
IT IS APPALLING to compare gay marriage to the rights of those affected by things such as slavery. The slaves did not choose to be forceably brought to this country.
Gay marriage is wrong. The gay lifestyle is a choice and not a genetical predisposition. It is a wrong choice. These people need to have therapy to correct their mental illnesses.
- Bob, Hudson, NH
Lynches campaigne headquarters # is 228-6000, I called and took my name off his list as a supporter.
- Dee, Merrimack
Congratulations to all supporters that worked so hard and at the end you found victory. What right does Bishop McCormack have to speak against this law? After all he is the one that tried to cover up for the pedophile priests. Now, this is the real NH live free or die.
- Vanessa Marin, Nashua
Thank you Gov. Lynch!
My partner (soon to be husband) and I have been waiting for this day for many years and I am proud to call NH my home.
- J. Labrie, Nashua, NH
"Read Romans 1 from your bible. It is an eye opener.
- Andrew Pelletier, Milford"
Do you really follow the bible that closely? Really?
Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations.
Exodus 35:2 states that anyone who works on a sunday should be killed.
Lieviticus 19:27 You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard
I am not saying that the bible is to be completely debunked, but I think religious extremism is a weak argument against the gay marriage policy.
- pete, portsmouth
Allison in Portsmouth - Those of us who oppose gay marriage do not shut our mouths because morality doesn't change just because a new fad or a new cause is dreamed up by a minority. Marriage is between a man and a woman. Say what you want about gay unions and call them what you want. But they are not marriages and never will be.
- Brian, Farmington
You are getting what you voted for. What I want is to see any of those in the legislature than ran with this as the main issue they "had" to tackle this year. I want to see the support that these legislators got from thier constituents to pass this law. Are we to believe that this bill was voted on based on what the citizens want? Or was it what special interests wanted and our "Change" legislature gave into their demands without the true voice of the people being heard? Six states and can anyone tell me one of them that had a majority vote on this issue? Get back to me with that data will you. One of the most liberal states in the country did vote and they voted it down and have had that vote reaffirmed. So tell me just how much "support" this really has?
- Bill B., Pelham
Thank you NH! I am so very happy to finally feel like I am an equal in the eyes of NH. We just celebrated our one year anniversary since our civil union in the White Mountains last May. I an ecstatic that my relationship will now be recognized equally with those of my peers.
- Jenn Scanlan, Nashua, NH
Sunshine is the best disinfectant!
I love the exposure of the detractors on this issue! The only ones left seem to be the prejudiced hard right, good people can see this changes nothing in their marriages.
So we have folks like "judy, bradford" who inform us that Blacks and Hispanics, "have no choice" but to be what they are! Gee thanks Judy! Like there are no Black or Hispanic gays, or that a Black or Hispanic man would rather be White! Wow do you read what your write?
This is a great law, if just for the way it casts light into the dark areas of some people's minds. Thanks gov Lynch!
- Millie, Bedford
I drove home from work last night proud to live in this state. For 29 years I have been told that I cannot have the same rights as my straight sibilngs, but now I realize that I can. To those of you that oppose gay marriage, I only wished that you had spent 29 years feeling like a second class citizen for something that you couldn't change. You people are the ones that should be ashamed of yourselves. You might want to think about doing something more productive with that hate that you exhude than bashing a group of people. I have no doubt that years ago you would have been the same people that sat in the front of the bus, and I encourage you educate yourselves rather than pass judgment and display such ignorance. Shame on you. Cheers to the governor and the representatives of the people of the state of NH. You have positively changed my life and lives of many others.
- Jeff, Manchester, NH
With secular progressism taken over the state, this is no longer the state that I shall continue to live in. I will move to Florida, where queer marriage and end of the death penalty will never take place there.
- Robert Real, Farmington
Because "For though they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, ....", homosexuality reigns.
"They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. ... Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them."
Read Romans 1 from your bible. It is an eye opener.
- Andrew Pelletier, Milford
Will someone explain to me why we had to turn the state upside down for 1382 people? Since the civil unions went into effect only that many people have used that law. Not a huge groundswell. It isn't even as many people as have showed up/called to express their objection to homosexual marriage. Since when does a small minority of people have such control over the state?
It is time for the majority to wake up and take back our state and country. Evil flourishes when good people do nothing (to paraphase Edmund Burke). Destroying the traditional family and indoctrinating our children is evil and will continue until we stand up and stop it. What people want to do in the privacy of their bedrooms is their business, but when they push their behaviors on me and my children, and threaten me with criminal/civil penalties if I don't agree completely, I have to stand up and say something.
- Jeannine, Weare
Reading the reader responses is more interesting and enlightening than the story itself. Amazing how divided we are on this issue.
In any event it should have been placed on the ballot. They should have let the people decide.
Then again, the world is changing and we need to recognize the changes. This was inevitable.
- BA, Derry
What an insult to blacks, hispanics, etc. that the gay agenda keeps comparing themselves to people born into a race who had no choice in the matter. Again, if there's a gay gene why isn't their scientific proof of it and a consensus? Because there is no proof and NH has been hoodwinked/politicians bought and get ready for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender teaching starting in kindergarten in our public schools. Say goodbye to mom and dad, husband & wife, separate bathrooms, etc. Harvard now, your 5-year old brainwashed next to believe gays are right and God and traditional morals are wrong. Where's the help for people who turned gay because of incest and need inner healing? Where's the gay agenda's tolerance toward traditional values and spirituality and belief in God instead of fallible man? Oh yeah, I know, I'm a homophobe and a bigot and you left-wing liberals won't tolerate me, God nor the Bible I read. Get ready for polygamy, bestiality, incestuous marriage, etc. since we can't "discriminate" against anything or anyone anymore....this is freedom? This is the correct path for NH and America?
- judy, bradford
I have been following this story (and the comments) for several months now. I am so saddened to see how hateful, CLOSE MINDED, ignorant, and cold the people of NH are. I had no idea I work, live, shop, and enjoy life next to you shallow, angry people.
I am a heterosexual, but strongly support homosexual marriage. Marriage is made for love - it does not matter the sex of the people involved. You cannot choose who you fall in love with. Even the religion/God argument is a stretch. I am a Catholic and attend mass weekly, but I still support love of any kind.
Last week, someone posted: "What's the worst that can happen? Welcome to the world of divorce, alimony, and child support, like the rest of us." Exactly - what is the worst that can happen? The state makes more money from more marriage license fees? Or divorce fees? Lawyers client counts increase? Tourism increases because of the number of visitors who will now come to our state to marry? Oh, no! Not more money for our state in this awful economy. Take it away!
Why can't you people shut your mouths, mind your business, and let more people be happy? Just because you're not doesn't mean the rest of us don't have the right to be.
- Allison, Portsmouth, NH
OK Statehouse get back to work and come up with a budget that will not raise taxes and fee's for the state of NH. You have wasted enough time on things that don't solve our budget problems. I could care either way about who marries who, but Gov Flynch has to go. Pick a side and stick with it for once.
- BuzzinNh, Brookline
I am so disappointed in New Hampshire this state is no longer a conservative beacon in New England. This should have been put to a vote as it was in California, I guarantee it would have never been passed. It is not a reflection of the predominant views of those in the this once great state.
- Warren Gerlowski, Nashua, NH
To Tom in Campton...Yours is probably one of the most important comments posted here today. Thank you for thinking. Thank you for using your mind. Thank you for understanding that equal rights means just that: Not more than, not less than, but just equal. I am so proud of my home state today. Thank you to all who helped make this law a reality. Peace.
- Joel, Nashua
With apologies to the few who had a legitimate excuse: The 25 cowards who didn't show up for the vote should not be returned to office. I urge everyone who cares about the direction our state is going to run for State Representative. The 25 "not voting" above is a good place to start. PS being "excused" is easier than it was to get a note from your Mom because you missed a day of school.
- Bill, Manchester
As an old conservative white guy, have long been opposed to the idea of gay marriage. On the other hand (in the "silver linings" department), the state has an aging demographic and the economy is hurting big time. This new law, albeit a bitter pill to swallow for us traditionalists, might enhance our reputation as an "enlightened" state and attract more young, well educated, and affluent folks (both gay and straight) to provide the innovation we'll need going forward.
- bill_o, manchester, nh
Governor Lynch repealed Benson's parental notification law. He squandered Benson's surplus and wants casino gambling.
He always held these far left beliefs, but he lied about them. Gay-marriage was merely the catalyst that proved it to you.
- Steve, Manch
I'm glad to see the important things are being taken care of. We have gay marriage but a budget that is out of control. Time to put the Republicans back in office to right this ship!
- Mike Johnson, Bedford
The reason why Rep. Terie Norelli was "Not voting/not excused" is because she's the Speaker of the House. The Speaker of the House doesn't vote unless the vote in the House is a tie. To list her as "Not voting/not excused" is not only inaccurate, it's alleges that the Speaker of the House shirked her responsibilities without excuse. For the purposes of voting records, the Speaker should be listed as "presiding."
*** (Editor's note: The roll call above was taken directly from the House of Representatives' own web site, which lists Speaker Norelli as "Not voting/not excused.") ***
- Dan, Manchester
Governor Lynch and fellow democrats placed the final nail in the coffin of our beautiful state once known for her common sense, as well as lack of government interference.
The state is going down in unprecedented debt while those sent to Concord to represent the people have done so by making a mockery out of their fiduciary responsibilities by driving the state into debt and putting all their efforts into passing legislature that only fits the behavior of those with no respect for mainstream behavior.
I care less what the “new age” groups want to do behind closed doors of their homes but I will not be forced to accept same sex marriage as normal behavior. The “new age” has gone all the way; breakdown of the traditional family, massive slaughter of the unborn, and I am sure this inept Governor will not hesitate to follow through with assisted suicide. God help the people where that will lead.
Governor Lynch and fellow democrats, your time has come and gone.
- Marilyn, Keene
To those who say it is up to the church well guess what I belong to a legally held church while not christian is still a church where Gay Marriage is upheld.
I am straight, Married, kids, house, and a dog with the picket fence and I am thrilled that Gov Lynch had to recognize that ALL CHURCHES are CHURCHES and even if they have differing docterines they all have to be recognized.
You want to get rid of gay marriage you will have to abolish my church first. Oh wait you can't; It is my constitutional right to have freedom of religion.
So, I guess your point on morality is also null and void as it is not immoral for us!!!
I really don't care about this bill I only care about MY RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. Which this bill upholds!!!!!
I wish everyone nothing but PEACE, LOVE and LIGHT
- Elizabeth, Winchester
There is no "homosexual lifestyle," gays live just like everyone else. So to claim to be "disgusted" is just bigotry. In fact the bigots ruin the arguments for the well-meaning people who do not support gay marriage. Load gun, shoot self in foot!
Years ago many many people were "disgusted" by the sight of a black man and white woman walking hand in hand, and used the same arguments like, "unnatural," so there you go. Recall the Nazis rounded up gays and killed as many as they could along with Jews. The mean spirited always have to be brought kicking and screaming to reality, thank God we have a governor with a solid moral foundation.
Can you imagine being gay and having one of these crazy radical bigots as a relative?
- Graham, Manchester
I thought I was going to wake up this morning and everything was going to be different. My friends told me the world was going to end if gay marriage passed in New Hampshire. Well so far it's the same old routine for a Thursday morning at 9:00AM. I am guessing tomorrow will be a normal Friday and so on...
Massachusetts has its problems, but five years later I don't see too many of them that can be directly linked to gay marriage down there...
Can we move on now?
- Patrick, Exeter, NH
When the Governor ran for reelection he stated he was opposed to gay marriage. He claimed the civil union law protected gay / lesbian rights.
By signing this bill, he has proved to all he is a blatant liar.
The last person to lie this blatantly to New Hampshire's citizens was Dick Swett. I predict this governor shall suffer the same fate as he.
- Dave, bow
They say the old are wise. I know now how true that statement is. The "Old Man" abandoned the State several years ago as he was able to see the future from his perch.
- Steve, Raymond
I am thoroughly disappointed at the governor who I voted for, as his stance was against gay marriage. Imagine, my 12 year old son at the dinner table asking me about gay marriage. First Obama, now gay marriage. How unnatural. They have a place for this, its called Vermont. Soon will every Subaru driven in the state have a rainbow sticker on it? Kudos to my state reps from Milford who voted nay, at least they kept their word.
- Holly, Milford
Keep an eye on the local graveyards. Matthew Thornton, General John Stark and others are likely to bust out of the ground and go bury themselves somewhere where the laws of God and Man are still followed.
This is a spit in the face of everything this country was founded on, all of its morals, all of its principles. We are becoming something between Amsterdamn and Caligula's Rome.
And some people will answer for it in their final judgement. Hope they enjoy hot weather. Liberals empower amoral behavior and evil, and, deluded to the last by lies, know not what master they serve.
- Mike R., Bedford
John, Manchester "Oddly enough when I woke up I found that I was still just as married as I was yesterday."
Oh, that's wonderful! Wonderfully put. What straight or gay people do is their choice. Those of us who are straight, WHY should WE have a say in the choices and actions of gay couples? And vice-versa.
To all you bible drivel spewers out there, in the bible, it says God created EVERY being.
Ummm.. that would INCLUDE gays.
I know, tough fact to bear for you, but I'm sure you'll get through. If it becomes too much, you could turn to the bible. Use it in the ONLY manner its good for.
Have someone drop it on your head, you'll pass out cold for a bit, and wont have to think you're hateful, despicable thoughts.
Even better, the rest of us wont have to hear or read it.
- Jenn, Hooksett
For all of you who feel government should not interfere with people's "right" to marry whomever or whatever they want. I hope you will feel equally strong about government leaving people alone when they refuse to participate in these pretend marriages.
- David, Bedford
Just because two people on your street can now get married, it doesn't mean that your marriage means any less.
Come on, Brittany Spears can get married, that is a bigger affront to marriage than two women or two men who are committted to spending the rest of their lives loving each other.
Why does the *WORD* matter? If your religion includes the sacrament of marriage, and you do not believe in gay marriage, you can still deny them the sacrament. No sacrament= no marriage in the eyes of the church. People who get married at City Hall *gasp* are not married in the eyes of the church. What is the difference?
Gay rights- protected
Church rights- protected
Your Marriage- still exists (protected)
They are not taking away one heterosexual marraige for every gay one!
- E, Manchester
I am aware of a formalized campaign by gay marriage supporters to flood discussion boards like this. My brother's wife, a supporter of gay marriage, received packets of information detailing what message boards to contact (including this one), where to place signs, and who to call.
All that being said, I want to have legislation proposed so that people can marry their siblings. Why not, we've already crossed the moral abyss with this forced law.
- Bob, Hudson
Great report, it is nice to read a report on this that is professional, and not all fire and brimstone like the many embarrassing op-eds we've had shoved down our throats here.
If you notice in the posts, the supporters are largely straight people pleased that there will be less discrimination. On the other hand the naysayers are not clear minded thinkers with principles, they are agitated and angry, hateful and disparaging. This is very significant.
Certainly some who are against are well meaning, but too many are just plain bigots.
We can't let the haters decide policy here in NH. This is a big reason why so many "straight" people support this bill. So in a sense the nastiness of the detractors has brought on the support, like good people shouting down the Klan at a rally. This is something to be very proud of.
If you look at a map of the US showing gay rights you'll see it's the Texas and the bigot belt leading the way against progress. That's reason enough to support the bill, so we don't become like Oklahoma and Kentucky.
- Tom Labrie, Rochester
Time to fly the flag at half-staff. It's a day of mourning, not for the demise of morality, but for the demise of the human mind. Homosexual "marriage" is not an offense to religion or morality, it is an offense to sanity and reason.
HB 436 and its riders are obscene on their face, and they are obscene even when studied with a critical eye. This whole thing is about legislative activism; it is not about crafting viable or reasonable law of substance and maturity. This law is codifying a form of adolescent resentment. It's rife with a teenager's "compassion" and "fairness" and idealism. We are not witnessing a bold new step into something profound, but a pusillanimous step into something bland, irrational, and irrelevant.
Now watch what happens: Divisions, lawsuits, chaos. A push for a constitutional amendment (a good but divisive thing). And yes, a religious reinvigoration of the sacrament of marriage: soon there will be a rite of "true sacramental marriage" practiced among the devout, solely open to heterosexual couples. Just watch. Mark my words. Gays and lesbians WILL BE left outside again, as they should be, simply because their unions are utterly irrational. And THEN watch the protest, the withering of tolerance!
Here's a call to all THINKING citizens to embrace rites and ceremonies of "true sacramental marriage" everywhere. In fact, let us rejoice that this "brilliant" NH law has opened the door to ensuring that the higher-order practice of True Sacramental Marriage is also a protected right -- for heterosexuals only!
- B. H. Grace, Hancock
I am proud of what New Hampshire accomplished yesterday, equality for all!
However, some of the comments on here are ridiculous. I think its hilarious that people think that sex-ed in school is going to change because we have gay marriage in NH. Sex-Ed will change, if it changes, because the world has changed not because NH voted for gay marriage. Your child will not be any more exposed to homosexuality than they already are. People have chosen/born homosexual for years. Gay marriage isn't going to change your child seeing two men or women kissing in public or two men holding hands or two women being mothers to a child. Gay marriage will not change any of these, they already have these rights as United State citizens. The only change will be that they can say they are married. I for one woke up this morning and said to myself, "Oh my God, I am still happily married and gay marriage had no effect on me." Just like every other heterosexual couple in NH.
People need to practice tolerance and understanding and realize that unless your gay, you are the same person you were yesterday and your marriage is still as strong as it will ever be.
- Alex, Manchester
Thank you for the voting record. I will save it to my computer right now to guide my choices in the next election so that I can vote against all who rejected the viewpoint that was expressed by the majority of New Hampshire residents, that this human law still does not create "marriages." Only God can create a marriage and God has stated the true Law about this in the beginning, now, and for always.
This is a sad situation for all of the NH parents who are trying to guide their children toward good moral choices. It's another instance of having to correct what is taught by the schools and the government---another instance where we have to explain that sometimes the democratic process actually is sneaky and ignores what voters have clearly expressed is their opinion.
- Laurie, Londonderry
If you are disappointed in this decision, like me, be sure to vote straight ticket Republican next few elections so we can repeal this law.
The debate did bring out one good point though - we also need to look at rolling back no-fault divorce laws.
- Jim, Manchester
Gov. Lynch and former Gov. Shaheen are cut from the same cloth - they don't stick to their statements, they waffle on sticky issues, they're best sitting on a fence where they don't have to take or make a stand, and then they'll change their minds and counter their publicly stated views on something.
Too often we're told that one knows the most about a person and his word are reflective of how and where he stands on an issue.
Clearly, Gov. Lynch has proven again, he has no backbone, no spine and his words are hollow.
He's an empty suit that will be out of office.
Shame on your Governor. Flynch is exactly what you did. Your word means nothing.
- RG, Manchester
Too bad the state didn't have laws to support the voters having a say at the ballot on issues as important as gay marriage. Goes to show that voters count less than the parties.
- R, Raymond
I find it extremely ironic that the bill began ... in the year of our Lord....
We are a Christian Nation, its in our laws, that is until atheists feel discriminated against and sue to have the language changed.
Soon, we will not have any higher moral compass on any ruling. Moral relativism is destroying our nation.
- CJ, Manchester
yah, i am so proud to be a granite stater right now. if people are offended by what they see why are they looking at it. i see some pretty disgusting things out on the street everyday between men and women so how is that any worse than seeing two people of the same sex together. if kids ask questions so what. all they need to know is that those two people love each other
- liz, ashland
This is a sad day for a beautiful state in the sun. There will be reprocussions. People who have been tolorent of he homosexual lifestyle will become angry. When community standards are violated people will be held accountable. I appreciate Lynch's strong fiscal management- Hopefully Obama could bring him to Washington and this NH bill could be repealed. Rome is falling.
- Belinda, Peterborough
Steve of Dover: celebrate morality and bigotry, they often go hand-in-hand. You can hold whatever views you want on homosexuality, the point is that it is not the role of government to regulate "morality", especially when it comes to people's private lives. These bills reiterate the protections of those organizations, who for religious reasons (long the only basis for discrimination allowed in this country), do not wish to participate in same-sex marriages, while providing equality to a heretofore unequal minority. This should be a proud day for anyone who values equality, liberty and justice. It's a shame that a small, right-wing minority cannot accept the compromise here, and join the celebration.
- Michael, Brookline, MA
I for one am extremely happy that this law has been passed not because I am gay but because this country has to much hate and fear in it right now. A little love could help everyone. Secondly, for those of you who are opposed to this it sounds to me that the problem lies within yourselves. You all act like homosexuality is a new thing, like it came along with the 21st century. For your information it's been around, or at least documented, since the Ancient Roman times. How about you let go of your fears and prejudices and just let people live their lives in peace.
- Becky, Auburn, NH
Finally we can now include two men or women having sexual relations in sex education class at our schools. The young gay kids will need to know all the do's and don'ts to prepare them for adulthood as only the state can teach them.
Be careful not to teach your children otherwise or it could be a hate crime.
- Deb, Derry
Gov Lynch personally opposed gay marriage, and yet, as Governor, he understood that his personal feelings could not stand in the way of his duty to provide for the civil rights of all citizens.
His action demonstrates the finest adherence to what our form of government is SUPPOSED to be about - tolerance and personal liberty.
This is New Hampshire at its finest. Thank you Legislature and thank you Governor for your courage and integrity.
- tom, Candia
I'm very proud of my home state (born, raised, educated & raising a family here) today. Plus, Gov. Lynch has secured my support in any future elections.
The people claiming this is evidence of our moral decay sound just like the people fighting interracial marriage in the sixties. Those people were wrong then and these people are wrong now.
One prediction, not one legislator will be punished at the polls for voting for this bill.
- Jason, Londonderry
Behold Gov. Lynch signing a pro-discrimination bill. For the marriage law he is pictured signing is chock full of discrimination - against plural marriage, against intra-family marriage, etc.
This exposes the "marriage equality" argument to be the sham that it is. The only true anti-discrimination position would be to abolish the elevating of any relational arrangement over any other.
Hey gay-marriage supporters, welcome to the world of being a discriminator & "bigot" (betcha didn't even realize you were one, did you?)
- Greg, Londonderry
Interesting how they avoided putting this vote to the people, because they know the majority of people will vote it down. Whenever the republicans made an unpopular decision, the liberal media's battle cry was "let the people decide" but I guess that only applies to certain groups of people.
As I've said elsewhere on this website, a country always rots from within first. We are rotting fast and we have rotten leadership in the White House, Congress, and obviously at the state level here - all with no moral foundation...all following along nicely to the tune of Saul Alinsky. Socialists like Obama and Alinsky have a term for liberals. They call them "useful idiots." There is a reason for that. I guess now you liberals are gonna have to find a way to justify to the masses how pedophilia and bestiality are "normal" ecause I'm sure they'll want their day in court next. Just as with homosexuality, there is no gene, but hey, don't let that little inconvenient truth stop you.
2010 - start the "real" change and restore America.
- Mike, Temple
A sad day in NH when the voice of the people has been drowned out by legislation. The Governor, Reps and Senators have ignored the state constitution and have not allowed the people of NH due process.
This should have been brought to vote so that we the people have a say in the matter. Those in Concord are afraid of the truth and that is why they would not allow the vote.
To the homosexuals (why not use the term that best describes you?) by your own actions you violate the natural order of things. You can't have it both ways -
either you are amoral with no god in the picture and believe in evolution and equality or you believe the Bible and repent of your sin.
The Governor has thumbed his nose at the Bible in favor of political favor.
That, NH, is what we have come to.
- Rich R, Farmington
Oddly enough when I woke up I found that I was still just as married as I was yesterday. This changes nothing other than providing equal opportunity. Now Lynch and Co. can try to deal with real issues.
- John, Manchester
I think that famous politician who has recently been getting unprecidented media coverage, put it best the other day: in his National Press Club appearance, Cheney declared: "I think, you know, freedom means freedom for everyone." Well, said, Mr. Cheney, well said.
- Cathy McDonald, Derry, NH
I originally felt strongly opposed to gay marriage, but after some careful thought and consideration of those who are affected by this decision, I have come to support it. Today, I am proud that my state is leading the charge for equality for all!
- Tom, Campton
I am so proud of my state today! It's wonderful to see that my cousin from Manchester who got married in NH will finally have that sanctification recognized, and that she and her wife will the get the rights that they deserve.
It's wonderful to see that the legislature and the governor have chosen to recognize the religious freedoms o
f my own home church, an old church, which recognizes the sacrament of marriage as between two adults. Thank you for preserving freedom of religion in the wonderful state of NH!
- Nick, Auburn, NH
To think I voted for this coward in the last 2 elections. It won't happen again, I will be campagining against Lynch in the next election. Maybe he should run for Governor in Mass, thats where he got 90% of his support from.
- Dee, Merrimack
There is something wrong with the moral compass of those we elect to guide our society. Allowing the marriage of gay people is wrong. It is simple. We will remember those who have betrayed our trust and faith.
A gay relationship is anything but normal. It is forbidden for a reason. Let them have civil ceremonies all they want....A marriage should be reserved for the natural relationship between a man and a woman.
- Bill, Manchester
Giving people these rights couldn't have been done without the word "MARRIAGE" attached to the writing of this Bill ? That is what's wrong.
- Bob, Meredith
To Governor Lynch and his fellow dems;
You're all done. Enjoy the rest of your days in office. You won't get any more.
- AJ, Windham
It is official. The liberal Massachusetts has overtaken the once conservative NH. I do not care what people do in the privacy of their homes but do we have to have homosexuality in our face in every form of media. Love and marriage should be a personal issue and not a legal one.
- Pete, Manchester
The fact that equality in marriage being extended to homosexuals, which is only right, has upset so many people is frightening indeed. That it has instilled (or further stimulated) hate and fear is worrisome. I sincerely hope that history judges us as the gritty new englanders (with hearts of gold) that we are, and we all chuckle about this on 10 years. I saw te supports, have heard them and have done the same with the opposition. The age difference is startling. Homosexuality is a NON-ISSUE for the next generation of leaders. The saying "out with the old, in with the new" has never been more apt. And to you religious/moral/ick-factor types who just hate or can't stand or stomach gayness...grow up. Your kids clearly have.
- Mike, Concord
John G., gay couples or even gay single parents, have been allowed to adopt for well over 15 years now. Being able to marry has nothing to due with either bearing or adopting children.
And if homosexuality is "unnatural" why are there homosexual individuals in all species? If you believe your god made everything, then you'd better adjust to the fact he created homosexual beings
- Lee, Northwood
Hey John G from Manchester, I personally find lima beans and brussel sprouts truly disgusting, but that doesn't mean I want to shelter my children from them. Seeing 2 men or 2 women kissing will not ruin your kids, nor will it turn them gay. (They might already be gay and you or they just don't know it yet!) Your kids have the biological make-up they were born with, and it's up to you to instill values and morals in them, but it's not up to you to force your values and morals on your neighbors. This bill is so very "New Hampshire" - this is a state whose people are known for not meddling in the affairs of others. You may marry whomever you like, and now so may your gay neighbors. Let them be.
To all the gay couples out there: peace be with you! My best wishes for your future happiness!
- Kathy, Manchester
I truly hope this law gets overturned, I used to be proud to say I was from the "live free or die state" but now to be one of the six, I am sickened by this. To each their own but it is not natural and shouldn't be celebrated so openly. I had hoped the Gov Lynch would have had the courage to just say no! He has lost another supporter. - HL, Manchester
- H Lemay, Manchester
What an outrage. The Governor who campaigns he is against gay marriage, approves it. The President who campaigns for government transparency runs the most elusive administration. A President on his second apology tour to the Middle East. Bad mouths the best country on earth (United States) responsible for almost every humanitarian mission performed in every country in the world. Congress spending and running up record debt. Federal Government taking over private companies (GM). Alderman who pass a budget with a tax increase during a recession. This is "CHANGE" I can't believe in. Our country’s morals, global obligations, and common sense have declined significantly with this one political party majority that is totally out of control. I am truly afraid for my country’s future and well-being.
- Ed, Manchester
Was this really a priority considering the real problems the state is facing? And I find few people who support this bill, so how is it that it can become law when it's clear the vast majority of NH population is either not for it or don't consider it important???
- Mike, Epping
Well, New Hampshire has turned into Vermoint. What's next....... a budget shortfall on par with California?
- Rick, Hooksett
Society is in self-destruct mode and it can’t be stopped. Take a good hard look around you and see how fast and far we came over the last 25 years. Nothing I can see is for the betterment of man or woman. I’m just waiting for the first nuclear bomb announcement from the government saying sorry people this is not a test… we have only 30 minutes to touchdown, and god cant help us because he has left the building.
- Ron Baldasaro, Londonderry
While not a big fan of gay marriage I feel that if the government has to stick its nose in what is a religious ceremony then all should be included. That said I also feel that the majority of residents would rather not have spent the time on this subject and ultimately the greater percentage of state residence would not have supported this effort. When the lawmakers do what they want rather than represent the will of the people it is tyranny. Vote 'em out.
- Tim, Antrim
Society is in self-destruct mode and it can’t be stopped. Take a good hard look around you and see how fast and far we came over the last 25 years. Nothing I can see is for the betterment of man or woman. I’m just waiting for the first nuclear bomb announcement from the government saying sorry people this is not a test… we have only 30 minutes to touchdown, and god cant help us because he has left the building.
- Ron Baldasaro, Londonderry
Good now that this issue is settled can we move on to more urgent problems that this state has like lowering taxes and cheaper health care, and low cost housing, crime, and infracture repair etc. Those ar the real meaningful issues we should be tying up our legislature with. I am getting sick and tired of all these automated calls from both sides of the issue of same-sex marriages
- Richard L. Fortin, Manchester
The article commented "Now, Lynch said, the state needs to put the debate behind it." The article reported Mr. Lynch stated, ""Today is a day to celebrate in New Hampshire. Today should not be considered a victory for some and a loss for others. Today is a victory for all the people of New Hampshire, who I believe, in our own independent way, want tolerance for all," he said."
That's not going to happen. The Diocese of Manchester's Bishop McCormack wrote about yesterday's debacle, "I am deeply disappointed that the bill to legalize same sex marriage in New Hampshire was signed into law today. The new law passed our Legislature through the narrowest of margins with precipitous haste and without extensive study. The law strikes a blow to the cornerstone on which our entire civilization is built and sustained: the marriage between one man and one woman.
"In a manner unlike any other relationship, the union of a husband and wife makes a unique and irreplaceable contribution to the common good of society. A man and a woman in a marriage bring children to life and model the way in which women and men live interdependently and commit, for the whole of life, to seek the good of each other. Our state has an obligation to protect the unique gift of marriage between one man and one woman.
"As bishop, I will continue to teach that marriage is a faithful, exclusive, lifelong union of a man and a woman joined in an intimate community of life and love. This is a natural truth that has been confirmed by divine Revelation in Sacred Scripture.
"As a citizen of this state, I am troubled that those who respect and treasure marriage as it has been understood for thousands of years have been marginalized while others position same sex marriage as a “civil rights” issue. Marriage and same-sex unions are essentially different realities. Upholding marriage as it has always been understood is just and neither offends the dignity nor the rights of homosexual persons. Indeed, the New Hampshire civil union law passed by the Legislature in 2007 expressly conferred the same rights offered to heterosexual couples to same-sex couples.
"I pray that the citizens of this state will recognize the clear need for a constitutional amendment on marriage."
Practicing Catholics, I encourage you to stand firm as required by our Bishop and Church, and work to reverse what the Governor, and members of the Senate and House have wrought. We who are CCD educators, who have a responsibility to teach Catholic education in our state, will continue to teach that marriage is a sacramental union between a man and a woman.
- Dave, Northwood
Now that this distraction is taken care of, can the legislature get back to work? We have real and important stuff that needs doing. This should have passed months ago.
- Jeff, Goffstown
This is a huge mistake governor and legislatures! What shame you bring us - how can one follow the bible, teach our children where the purpose of marriage is to bring forth children - how can those of the same sex do that? This statement does not mean I feel those of same sex relationships should stay closeted or not have rights when comes to legal matters but not marriage.....
Those officials up for re-election - be prepared, for you may have a tough time getting re-elected.
- Ellen, Concord
Celebrate diversity and moral decay for they often walk hand in hand.
- Steve, Dover
I hope the voters of NH hold these politicians responsible for this fiasco. Call, write letters and confront these pandering elitist at every opportunity. Remind them everyday and everywhere they go that they chose, against the will of the people of NH, to legalize and sanctify abberant sexual behavior. Soon our schools will be lauding the beauty of homosexual relations and encouraging our kids to experiment. Ultimately, this has always been the agenda of the gay community. What they fail to realize is that a two headed snake is always going to be a two headed snake - regardless of what laws the libs pass to redefine the beast. If you care anything about this state, now is the time to focus your anger against those who voted for gay marriage and make sure they never hold office in NH again.
- Bill, Auburn, NH
Hey Mr. Lynch, you should have just resigned today because effectively that is what you have done. At this time when folks are losing their homes, and jobs and the economy is in the tank you and the Massachusetts (oops New Hampshire?) leftislature have decided this to be the issue you have worked hardest on. Resign now because when you and your lefty buddies in the house and Senate run again you will be run out of office. And to my gay friends who so badly wanted the right to marry, have at it, I've been married 20 years and it's no picnic. I'm sure now that you have this right you will be just as miserable as the rest of us, and will soon no longer be gay (happy)....ha
- Mike Jones, Londonderry NH
Now that the people in Concord have finished playing, can we get back to the real issues in this state, like the budget, taxes and H1N1 flu virus?
- George, Nashua
Sherman Packard can make all the claims he likes. Republicans claimed a few years ago that Democrats had destroyed themselves by passing civil unions, recall. He's just as laughably wrong now predicting that anyone but rabid kooks on the right (who won't vote Democratic anyhow) and people who actually gained marriage rights on the left will care about this come November 2010. And he's not only predicting badly, but actively out of touch with reality in refusing to acknowledge that polling shows New Hampshire voters do in fact support marriage equality.
Keep on being wrong, Republicans! It makes it so much easier to keep Democrats winning! Keep throwing out your moderates, too; the more you run off the cliff to the right, the better. Anyone have a pool on how many comments before someone starts baying for primaries of the Republicans who voted aye?
- Peter, Canterbury
Today I am not proud to be a citizen of New Hampshire. Homosexuality is not natural, and allowing same sex couples to wed sends a disgusting message.
Men and women belong together. Not men with other men, or women with other women. I honestly could care less what gays do behind closed doors, but when I have to bring my children out, and they see two men, or two women kissing, and I have to explain that to them, that is truely disgusting. I'm appalled by this law, and I'm appalled by Gov. Lynch. To think I voted for this man under the pretense that he didn't believe in gay marriage, and then he gets elected and allows this to pass. He's a coward and a traitor, and he doesn't deserve to serve the people of NH.
Whats next? Adoption? Could you imagine a child having to grow up with 2 mothers, or 2 fathers? What has this country become?
- John G, Manchester, NH
Thank you to everyone who worked hard to pass equality for all .... and to Governor Lynch for having the courage to sign it into law.
- Nick, Manchester
That was a hugh mistake governor. I always backed you up on any decision that you made until now. You will never have my vote on anything again. Someday you will have to answer for your decision to the ultimate judge. Good luck!
- John S., Manchester
If same sex marrige ok.Why not Mormons having the right to have several wives? How can religeions have protection from suit for same sex while being prosecuted for thier belief in polegomy?This whole same sex thing is just a group of people who want to justify their sexual leanings ,and to force sexual preferences to be considered the "Norm".In many countries their preferances would be punishable by death(Musilum Societies) or at the least as a deviation from the normal hetrosexual mores
- Omer J Ouellette Jr, Rochester
As someone who grew up closeted and alone in NH, this is the day I have been waiting for. The thought that I would someday be respected and allowed to live an honest life as a gay man gave me the strength to carry on. At last, the day has come, and I am prouder than ever to be a New Hampshirite.
- Dave, Derry, NH
"Same-sex couples say, 'I do'"
By BETH LAMONTAGNE HALL, New Hampshire Union Leader, December 30, 2009
When the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve, New Hampshire will become the fifth state to allow same-sex couples to marry.
As of Tuesday, 39 couples had secured same-sex marriage licenses to use sometime in the new year. The state has been issuing the marriage licenses to same-sex couples since Oct. 3. Once a license is issued, couples have 90 days to tie the knot before it expires.
Stephen Wurtz, acting director of the New Hampshire Division of Vital Records, said that in the last day or two, clerks' offices across the state have seen a bump in the number of requests for same-sex couple marriage licenses.
Gov. John Lynch signed the gay marriage bill into law in June, about two years after he had signed a similar bill legalizing same-sex civil unions. When the gay marriage law goes into effect, couples who were previously joined in a civil union can apply for a new marriage license at their local clerk's office for the standard fee. The couple can also apply for a conversion that would merge their civil union status into a marriage.
All New Hampshire civil unions that are not converted by the end of the year will automatically change to a marriage on Jan. 1, 2011. Wurtz said his office has received a number of questions about the transition.
"A lot of the phone calls I've received over this year is questioning the status (of civil unions) and how to go about obtaining the legal status of marriage," said Wurtz. "That has definitely slowed down the amount of civil unions."
Wurtz said that in 2008, there were 621 civil unions in New Hampshire. In 2009, there were 188. Although civil unions will soon become obsolete, Wurtz said same-sex couples can still get one up until Dec. 31.
Wurtz could not say specifically which towns or regions have greater numbers of same-sex marriage license requests, but expected cities would likely see the most. In 2008, Manchester issued 69 same-sex civil unions, the most of any city or town in New Hampshire. Concord came in second with 48, Portsmouth had 33 and Nashua had 31 civil unions that year.
Compared with the state's numbers for traditional marriage, however, the request for same-sex marriage licenses is very small. In the past three months, 39 same-sex couples obtained marriage licenses. During that same time, 1,535 opposite-sex couples stopped by their local clerk's office for a license.
Rep. Jim Splaine, D-Portsmouth, who sponsored the same-sex marriage bill, said he will celebrate the law going into effect the same way he celebrated the civil union law, by watching a number of gay couples tie the knot at the State Capitol. On New Year's Eve, the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition has organized a celebration ceremony for a group of same-sex couples scheduled to be the first in the state to wed.
Republican leaders opposed the same-sex marriage bill, but since its passage have said they have no intention of overturning it this legislative session. However, there are two bills currently before the state legislature that would reverse it. State Rep. Alfred Baldasaro, R-Londonderry, has submitted a bill that would reverse the gay marriage law; Rep. Dudley Dumaine, R-Auburn, has submitted legislation for a state Constitutional amendment declaring marriage as between one man and one woman.
The same things were said about interracial marriage not so long ago. This is a step in the right direction for everyone in this state, you should be proud to be part of a state that is moving forward and not holding people back.
- Maria, Manchester, NH
Jeff, Nashua says: "I would like to see a list of legislatures' names who voted for this garbage and see which of them are actually lifelong residents of New Hamshire."
Ha ha Jeffy boy, do you ever have it wrong! Born here, I take exception to your insinuation that living here all one's life turns a person into a bigot like you. I'm sure you learned that in your own special way! Lol!
- David, Manchester
It doesn't affect you. Typical liberal moonbat mentality. Hey, why don't I just drive down the street backwards....it doesn't affect you.
I have no problem with one's sexual choice, just don't impose your morale beliefs on me.
- DD, Manchester
Actually Sandra Thompson, its republicans like you who won't let this issue die. Its over, move on. It won't affect your life. Just like civil unions haven't affected anyone except the people who chose to get one. No one is teaching marriage (gay or straight) in public schools. More fear tactics. You need to get a life and stay out of the private lives of others.
- Henry Swanson, Goffstown
We are gathered here today to join this couple in UNHOLY matrimony...I don't really care what the gay people do...I'm just disappointed about our governer putting his party's agenda ahead of what the people of New Hampshire want....I won't make the mistake of voting for Lynch again.
- steve, manchester
The level of hatred in the comments is sad.
- Tom, Concord, NH
This is great news.
To those of you opposed to same-sex-marriage, how does having this law affect you? The answer is, it doesn't. You can marry someone of the opposite sex. I wonder how many opponents also oppose inter-racial marriage?
Congratulations to everyone, same-sex or opposite-sex, tying the knot this new year.
- Dan, Manchester
I consider myself to be, as do all who know me, to be very conservative in my political leanings but on this subject I have agree w/ Jim Wilson Manchester and JEff, Goffstown.
Dave, Merrimack, I have known and know homosexuals and have never found them to be "deviant, sick or mentally disturbed. On the contrary most did a great deal of denial and soul-serching before accepting themselves as they are. This is NOT a chosen life style.
Considering the outrages we are faced w/ from our state and federal gov'ts. this isssue should take none of our time or energy.
- ck, manchester
The posters clamoring for a referendum on this should note that NH does NOT have a referendum law or section in the state constitution. In fact, the Supreme Court has said that referenda would be unconstitutional.
- Scott, Concord
Those of us who support LGBT rights did not introduce the use of the term "marriage" and its attendant concepts by the government. But since the government already has put itself in the business of "marrying" people, there is no good reason that government marriage should not be extended to gay couples. As far as I know, the vast majority of us LGBT supporters would be pleased to have the government abandon the term "marriage" altogether in favor of civil unions for all, with marriage to be defined by the churches. I AGREE with you that it would be good to separate the concept of governmental civil unions from church-sanctioned marriages. As it stands now (and will always stand in this country, and quite rightly so), religious denominations can define their sacrament of marriage as they see fit (recognizing, of course, that some of us belong to churches that sanction gay marriage).
I do take the issue with the following statement you made:
"The LGBT community isn't interested in equality. They don't want tolerance, that want advocacy and embracement. They want supremacy of their deviant lifestyle over the established working social model of heterosexual unions."
This is pure double-speak. As a straight woman who got married in a big, poofy white dress, with a supporting cast of bridesmaids, and great social approval from my family and community, I know from experience that heterosexual unions enjoy a position of enormous social support compared to same-sex unions. I am also pretty sure that those of you who oppose same-sex marriage feel threatened because you feel your man/woman unions should be considered "superior." You are the ones who oppose equality. You want to trumpet your marriages from the rooftops while same-sex couples skulk in the closet.
- Tina, Bedford
Although same sex marriage has no impact on the quality of my life, and I really don't care what people do.
I am waiting for, and it will happen. Same sex couples get divorced sooner or later. Be curious how much money the lawyers end up with.
Quietly behind the scenes, divorce lawyers have been behind this all along.
They stand to gain the most from same sex divorce, alimony, and even child support
After all, it's all about equality. When an opposite sex couple end up divorced, estates are divided, child support provided, and sometimes alimony.
The same will happen with same sex couples!
- Harry, Atkinson
If all things are to be equal, then straight couples should not be able to get married by a Justice of the Peace. If it is such a "religious institution", then any ceremony outside of a church shouldn't be recognized as marriage either.
- Laurie, Merrimack
What an obscene number of civil unions performed in Manchester in 2008!
- Lyle, Manchester
I'm curious as to what right of yours is infringed on by two strangers getting married.
- Jim Wilson, Manchester
Here again the legislature decided to do something that their constituants did not want them to do. The gay's can call it what they want, but the real married people out here know that it will never really be marriage through their clearly deviant, sick and mentally disturbed behavior. No State can ever make your actions right by giving you this access to marriage.
- Dave, Merrimack
Thank you for reminding the voters of NH what was important to Democrats last year. Forget that we are in the worst financial crisis of my lifetime, forget that we are losing our jobs, forget that our wages have been frozen, forget that we have a spending crisis, Democrats ONLY seem to care about gay marriage.
Gay Marriage, bathroom bill, big spending. That's the face of the Democratic party in NH.
Maybe the voters will wake up when they decide to push this agenda on the kids in the public schools!
- Sandra Thompson, Manchester, NH
The voters in this state need the final say on this bill so we can repeal it the way Maine did. We need to demand this from our state legislators that these bills require the voters of this state to decide these issues not the idiotic LEFT WING LIBERALS.
And by the way, thank you Govenor Lynch for showing the state what a liar you are when you said you would VETO this bill and then signed it into law.
- John D., Danbury
Wow! Great news and one step closer to having equal rights for all!
It is sad to see that there will be Republicans working against them and trying to overturn this.
I just wonder how the Republicans can say with a straight face that they are for personal liberties, yet work so hard to take away the personal liberties for so many?
- Robert, Dover, NH
As a registered republican, who leans libertarian, I would ask that Reps Dumaine and Baldasaro withdraw thier legislation. Who one marries should be of no concern to anyone but the consenting adults involved. Gay marriage does not threaten "traditional" marrage.
- JEff, Goffstown
It's great when two people experience happiness and joy together. I'll have a drink and eat fish (*) to celebrate their happiness.
* I really don't like fish and I'm told it is good for me so I call prime rib fish so I can say I'm eating fish.
- Ken, Bedford
The gay marriage bill signed by Governor Lynch was a step in the wrong direction.
First, the gay marriage bill was should have been a state-wide citizen's vote issue. Instead, it was imposed on us all by a special interest group with undue influence on the governor and the legislature. Frankly, it shows that Mr Lynch is owned by the LGBT lobby and is compromised as a leader the majority of citizens of this state.
Second, marriage is primarily a religious term. Any law on it is an infringement on the concept of separation of church and state. By signing this bill, the legislature and the governor became pawns of the LBGT consortium in their attack pattern on the religious establishment.
Third, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the civil union bill other than it should have replaced ALL state marriage statutes. This also would have gone a long way toward satisfying the church/state conditions and would have set New Hampshire as a leader in the nation. Instead, we're now just a tag-along legislatively.
Four, the gay marriage bill was targetted by a special interest group to redefine the word, "marriage". The whole concept of "gay" marriage and "same-sex" marriage is about something that isn't marriage, but resembles it; hence, the mandatory prefaces of "gay" and "same-sex". It was not in the best interests of the state to do so. And this redefinition sets a troubling precedent. What other forms of "Newspeak" are going to be jammed down the throats of the majority of New Hampshire citizens?
Five. The LGBT community isn't interested in equality. They don't want tolerance, that want advocacy and embracement. They want supremacy of their deviant lifestyle over the established working social model of heterosexual unions.
The gay marriage law should be repealed. It is a travesty to the democratic process. It is an irresponsible social experiement into an area that is detrimental to society as a whole. It is wrong for all the people of the state of New Hampshire.
- Michael D. Houst, Barrington, NH
Thanks John Lynch for standing up and protecting marriage between a man and a woman.........Another flip flop from our great governor. Of couse this was the first piece of legislation once the democrats took over Concord in 2008. It has been all down hill from there!
- Dave, Portsmouth
Call it whatever you want folks, but it sure isn't "marriage" - never was and never will be.
- Brian, Farmington
This law is despicable and an embarassment to the entire state. It does not reflect the true values of the vast majority of people from New Hampshire.
I would like to see a list of legislatures' names who voted for this garbage and see which of them are actually lifelong residents of New Hamshire.
Bottom line: These transplanted Massachusetts liberals are ruining our state.
- Jeff, Nashua
Having the same legal rights as a married couple is one thing, to call it a marriage is another. Marriage is between a man and a woman. Please do not infringe on MY rights.
- Doug, Concord NH
Nice to see some numbers.
The fair-minded center of NH citizens should be proud they've protected a small group of perfectly well meaning people from the wrath of the upset traditionalists.
When the sky does not fall and hetero marriage stays pretty much the same, while a small number of dearly devoted same-gender couples create loving marriages for themselves, expect no comment of contrition from the social control wing of the GOP. They just don't get it.
- Muriel, Concord
- Jonathan Melle
- Amherst, NH, United States
- I am a citizen defending the people against corrupt Pols who only serve their Corporate Elite masters, not the people! / My 2 political enemies are Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr., nicknamed "Luciforo" and former Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr. / I have also pasted many of my political essays on "The Berkshire Blog": berkshireeagle.blogspot.com / I AM THE ANTI-FRANK GUINTA! / Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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