[JURIST] New Hampshire became the fourth state in the United States to recognize same-sex civil unions Tuesday when its civil unions law [text] took effect. The law allows same-sex couples to enter into civil unions with the "same rights, responsibilities, and obligations as married couples." New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch signed the legislation [JURIST report] in May 2007. The Boston Globe has more.
Currently, Massachusetts is the only state that has legalized same-sex marriages [JURIST report], but Connecticut, New Jersey, Vermont, and now New Hampshire permit civil unions [JURIST news archive]. In addition, California, Maine, and Washington allow domestic partnerships. An Oregon law [JURIST report] allowing same-sex couples to enter into contractual domestic partnerships was due to take effect on January 1, 2008, but a federal judge temporarily blocked the law [JURIST report] last week in order to give the court time to consider a legal challenge against the domestic partnership law.