NH House Approves Gay Marriage Bill

aleqm5h0pxewpedhwfk8b7pyn3wtnb7awwThe New Hampshire House voted Thursday to allow gay marriage. The bill now goes to the Senate and if it passes there, to Governor John Lynch’s office. Lynch, a Democrat, says he opposes the bill, but has not indicated whether he will veto it or not. The bill narrowly passed, with a vote of 186-179. 12 House Republicans voted for it, while 26 Democrats opposed it.

The A.P. reports:

“Two years ago, the Legislature approved, and Lynch signed, civil unions for gays, which provide all the rights of marriage, except in name.

Civil unions are not marriage, said Rep. David Pierce, D-Etna. The law should respect and support his life with his partner and their two daughters.

“When my children grow up to be old enough to know what discrimination is, they should not have to learn they were the objects of it,” he said.

He said gays should be allowed to marry, just as women won the right to vote and people of different races the right to marry.

“It is separate but equal all over again. Would you volunteer to ride at the back of the bus? Would you volunteer to give up your marriage license for a civil union license?” said Pierce.

Brookline Democratic Rep. Melanie Levesque, who is black and married to a white man, said her marriage was still a crime in Virginia in the mid-1960s.

“We have had a long history of challenging conventional wisdom — the Earth is flat, people from different continents should not marry, people who are the same should not marry,” she said.

Republicans who voted against the bill said gay marriage defies nature and could harm children.

Rep. John Cebrowski, of Bedford, said, “You cannot make two similar things into something they were never meant to be.” Rep. Laura Gandia, of Litchfield, called it “the most radical redefinition of marriage that can be imposed.”