Gay Marriage Legal in NH

New Hampshire on June 3 became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage. Governor John Lynch, who once opposed gay marriage, said he had heard “compelling arguments that a separate system is not an equal system.”

The law takes effect Jan. 1.

The New York Times reported that Lynch ordered that the bill protect members of religious groups from having to provide same-sex couples with religious counseling, housing designated for married people and other services relating to “the promotion of marriage.”

The House rejected that language last month. Legislative leaders appointed a committee to negotiate a compromise.

The committee recommended changes emphasizing the rights of religious groups not to participate.

“As people get to know the loving and committed couples at the heart of marriage equality,” Neil Giuliano of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation told the Times, “our culture is moving to equality.”

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