New Hampshire governor to sign civil unions bill

[JURIST] A spokesperson for New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch (D) [official website] said Thursday that the governor would sign a same-sex civil union bill if it is passed by the New Hampshire Senate next Thursday. HB 905 [text], passed [JURIST report] by the state House of Representatives earlier this month, would authorize same-sex couples to enter into civil unions entailing "a legal status equivalent to marriage." The bill states:

All laws of the state of New Hampshire, whether they derive from statute, administrative or court rule, policy, common law, or any other source of civil law, applicable to marriage shall also be applicable to civil unions....

Parties joined in a civil union shall have all the same protections and responsibilities under law, whether they derive from statute, administrative or court rule, policy, common law, or any other source of civil law, as are granted to spouses in a marriage.
The bill notes that it is consistent with the New Hampshire constitution [text] and with "Jeffersonian ideals," and that "All men (and women) are created equal, whether heterosexual or homosexual." The bill is expected to pass in the state Senate, where Democrats hold a narrow majority. Reuters has more.

Last month, Washington's State Senate passed a domestic partnership bill [JURIST report]. Currently, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, and New Jersey are the only states that recognize full civil unions.

 

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