Monday, November 26, 2007

Good for NH!

New Hampshire Prepares For Civil Unions
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: November 25, 2007 - 4:00 pm ET

(Concord, New Hampshire) Same-sex couples in New Hampshire will be able to apply for civil union licenses in about a week the state agency that oversees marriage licenses has announced.

Civil Unions will be come legal in the state January. The Secretary of State's office said that if couples want to have a civil union on New Year's Day they will be able to do so.

A new license has been created for civil unions and will be available at local clerk's offices in towns and cities across the state.

Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan said that the state is still fine tuning the software that will allow town clerks to access the state's computer system.

But Scanlan said the system will be fully operational by the first week of December.

New Hampshire is the fourth state to grant civil unions after New Jersey, Connecticut and Vermont. Neighboring Massachusetts in 2004 became the only state to allow gay marriage.
The law was passed earlier this year and signed into law in May by Gov. John Lynch.

Couples entering civil unions will have the same rights, responsibilities and obligations as married couples. Same-sex unions from other states also would be recognized if they were legal in the state where they were performed.

At Senate hearings into the bill the openly gay bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson, said that the state should embrace couples seeking civil unions because they value monogamy and commitment.

''Would that we could get all heterosexual couples to take these commitments and responsibilities so seriously,'' he said.

Robinson who is at the center of an Anglican feud over the role of gays in the denomination told senators that he deserves equality for himself and his partner of nearly 20 years.

A bill that would allow same-sex marriage is currently before the New York State legislature but Senate Republicans have vowed to defeat the measure.

In California the state Supreme Court is to hear arguments in a gay marriage case early next year.

© 2007

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