Thursday, April 30, 2009

Live Free…and Get Married

New Hampshire passes a marriage equality bill.

New Hampshire’s Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would legalize same-sex marriage after an amendment was added that allows clergy to decline to marry gay couples.

The bill, which passed in a 13-11 vote, needs to be signed by Governor John Lynch to make New Hampshire the fifth U.S. state where gay marriage is legal. The Democrat has not indicated whether he will sign or veto the bill, but has expressed opposition to the measure.

The bill passed the state’s House of Representatives on March 26 but looked set for near certain defeat in the Senate before the amendment, which appeared to mollify some critics in the Democratic-controlled chamber.

The last-minute changes to the legislation would allow clergy to decline to marry homosexual couples and give couples the freedom to either keep the words “bride” and “groom” on marriage licenses, or use the word “spouse” instead.

If it survives, that will make five states — 10% of the states in the union — that have legalized same-sex marriage.

Onward.

HT to Melissa.