NH Passes Civil Unions

New Hampshire’s a mere signature away from allowing civil unions. The state Senate voted 14-10 to pass the controversial measure, which just two years ago a study panel recommended the state ignore. MSNBC reports:

[The panel] concluded that homosexuality was a choice, and it endorsed a constitutional amendment to limit marriage to unions between a man and a woman. State lawmakers have defeated proposed constitutional bans on same-sex marriage two years in a row.

No doubt conservative politicians blasted the legislative progression. Republican Senator Robert Letourneau griped:

Let’s just call it what it really is, no sugarcoating. This creates same-sex marriage. There is no right to marriage in either the New Hampshire Constitution or the federal Constitution… We don’t let blind people drive or felons vote, all for good and obvious reasons.

Well, one reason’s more obvious than the other, but they’re both completely different, buddy.

Openly gay Representative Jim Splaine contested Letourneau’s contentions:

As we continue to evolve this discussion, we’ll see people not worried so much about the marriage word. This is an important difference. This is not marriage. This is civil union. This does nothing to impact anyone’s marriage.

Meanwhile, Representative Gail Morrison’s pledged to make an honest lady of her lesbian lover. “My partner and I have already spoken to our minister and we will be having a civil union the instant it is possible to do so.”