The New Hampshire state Senate voted 13 to 11 in favor of a bill that would legalize same sex marriage in the state yesterday. The state House approved a similar version of the bill in March on a 186 to 179 vote, but will need to approve changes to the bill made by the Senate before the legislation can be sent to Governor John Lynch for his approval. According to the Boston Globe it is unclear whether Governor Lynch would veto the bill due to his past opposition to same sex marriage.
In a statement yesterday, Governor Lynch stated “I recognize that the issue of same-sex marriage is intensely passionate and personal, and raises strong emotions on all sides, [but] I still believe the fundamental issue is about providing the same rights and protections to same-sex couples as are available to heterosexual couples. This was accomplished through the passage of the civil unions law two years ago. To achieve further real progress, the federal government would need to take action to recognize New Hampshire civil unions.”
New Hampshire became the seventh state to legalize civil unions in 2007. If the legislation is approved, New Hampshire would be the fifth state to permit same sex marriage in the United States after Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and Vermont. Similar legislation is currently under consideration in New York and Maine.