Take action in New Hampshire and New York today!

The New Hampshire Assembly just voted to send a freedom to marry bill to conference committee to work out final details (read more here). Frustrated? Call a House legislator in New Hampshire.

Or another simple action everyone can take right now is to get involved in New York! Call your friends, family, anyone you know in New York and tell them to take action here and call their State Senator today: http://www.prideagenda.org/marriage/

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House Stalls Amendment To Marriage Bill

WMUR
May 20, 2009

An amendment to a bill to allow gay and lesbian couples the protections and responsibilities of marriage in New Hampshire was sent to committee on Wednesday, putting the future of the measure in doubt. The Senate earlier approved the amendment on a 14-10 party-line vote, but the House rejected the change, 188-186. The House was left with the choice to kill the amendment or send it to committee, and it elected to send it to committee. That means the amendment could come to the floor again this session. [Link]

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NH Senate Panel Recommends Marriage Amendment

Boston Globe
May 20, 2009

The New Hampshire state House and Senate will vote today on the amendments to marriage equality legislation recommended by Gov. John Lynch. If approved, New Hampshire will become to sixth state to recognize marriage for same-sex couples. [Link]

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NH Senate Panel Passes Amendment to Law Establishing the Freedom to Marry

Boston Globe
May 19, 2009
Gov. John Lynch said last week he won't sign the already approved legislation enacting the freedom to marry unless the language includes protection for churches and their employees against lawsuits if their beliefs preclude them from marrying gays. Gay marriage supporters have said they do not object to the revision. Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee took the first step toward satisfying Lynch's demand, voting 3-2 to recommend the expanded protections to the full Senate. [link]

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N.H. Senate Works to Add Amendment to Marriage Bill

WCAX-TV
May 19, 2009

The New Hampshire Senate will hold another hearing today to try and tackle a crucial amendment to the same-sex marriage bill. It's one Governor John Lynch says must be adopted in order for him to sign it. The legislation should come to a vote in both houses on Wednesday. (Link)

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New Hampshire Set to Approve Marriage Equality

New York Times
May 14, 2009

Gov. John Lynch of New Hampshire said Thursday that he would sign the state’s marriage equality bill if it was amended to further protect opponents of such unions from having to take part in ceremonies celebrating them.

Legislative leaders indicated they would allow the changes, making it all but certain that New Hampshire will become the sixth state to have the freedom to marry for gay couples. (Link)

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New Hampshire Governor to Sign Marriage Bill After Language Changes Made

Gov. Lynch's Office
May 14, 2009

Gov. John Lynch released a statement today regarding marriage equality legislation in New Hampshire. He pledged to sign the marriage bill in New Hampshire after language is added to clarify the difference between civil and religious marriage. Action is expected next week in the legislature to return the bill to the Governor's desk for signature.

Here are a few key excerpts from the Governor's statement:
“My personal views on the subject of marriage have been shaped by my own experience, tradition and upbringing. But as Governor of New Hampshire, I recognize that I have a responsibility to consider this issue through a broader lens.

“In the past weeks and months, I have spoken with lawmakers, religious leaders and citizens. My office has received thousands of phone calls, letters and emails. I have studied our current marriage and civil union laws, the laws of other states, the bills recently passed by the legislature and our history and traditions.

“At its core, HB 436 simply changes the term ‘civil union’ to ‘civil marriage.’ Given the cultural, historical and religious significance of the word marriage, this is a meaningful change.

“I have heard, and I understand, the very real feelings of same-sex couples that a separate system is not an equal system. That a civil law that differentiates between their committed relationships and those of heterosexual couples undermines both their dignity and the legitimacy of their families.

“This morning, I met with House and Senate leaders, and the sponsors of this legislation, and gave them language that will provide additional protections to religious institutions.

“If the legislature passes this language, I will sign the same-sex marriage bill into law. If the legislature doesn’t pass these provisions, I will veto it.

(Link)

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New England’s Identity Bolsters Acceptance of Freedom to Marry

Boston Globe
May 11, 2009
New England is a collection of states where media markets overlap and families span borders. As a result, residents have been exposed to both the idea and the reality of legal unions of same-sex couples for almost a decade, since Vermont approved civil unions in 2000. [link]

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New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Delivers 14,000 Signatures Urging Gov. Lynch to Sign the Marriage Bil

Nashua Telegraph
May 10, 2009
The Freedom to Marry Coalition presented Lynch's office Friday with more than 1,000 petitions from residents backing the bill, bringing their number to close to 14,000, according to Executive Director Mo Baxley. [link]

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NY Times Editorial: “This Is a Question of Fairness’

New York Times
May 8, 2009
This week, the City Council of the District of Columbia voted to recognize marriages between gay people certified in other states. Unfortunately, there already are calls for Congress to once more tread on home rule and block this progress in the nation’s capital. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is right to caution against such grandstanding. Governor Baldacci of Maine heard the people speak. Congress should listen. [link]

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