On June 3, 2009, Gov. John Lynch signed a freedom to marry bill into law after it was approved by the state legislature. The first marriages for same-sex couples in New Hampshire took place on January 1, 2010, and the law has maintained popular support among New Hampshire residents.
In the 2010 elections, Republicans took control of the state legislature, gaining 75 percent majorities in both chambers, setting the stage for possible repeal. Despite Gov. Lynch's promise to veto any repeal legislation, the National Organization for Marriage and other anti-gay activists have made repealing New Hampshire's marriage law a top priority. These marriage opponents have committed to securing the two-thirds majority in both branches that is required to override a gubernatorial veto.
In October 2011, H.B. 437, the bill that would repeal the freedom to marry, passed the House Judiciary Committee. On March 21, 2012, the legislation was defeated by a bipartisan vote.
Standing Up for New Hampshire Families, Freedom to Marry and other organizations are working together to continually protect the freedom to marry in New Hampshire, incorporating a cutting-edge public education and lobbying campaign focused on helping Republican lawmakers understand why marriage matters.
GROUPS THAT WORKED ON MARRIAGE:
- Standing Up for New Hampshire Families is a bipartisan group of citizens, business owners, people of faith, and civic leaders who oppose repealing the popular 2009 law allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.
- Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.
- Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders is New England's leading legal rights organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status and gender identity and expression
In New Hampshire, 60% of voters feel that the freedom to marry should be legal, compared to only 29% who feel it should be illegal. (Public Policy Polling, January 2014)
NUMBER OF SAME-SEX COUPLES:
According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 3,260 same-sex couples are living in New Hampshire, representing 6.3 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.
Blog Posts Related to New Hampshire
Today Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry begins a national tour in key 2016 swing states as part of its "Reform the Platform" initiative to strike anti-gay language from the national GOP platform.
Yesterday, Karen Morgan, the widow of Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan of the New Hampshire National Guard, was finally able to get her military spouse ID card. The ID card will help to protect Karen Morgan, who lost her wife Charlie on February 10 of this year after a courageous battle with cancer.
This week, Tyler Deaton, the Campaign Manager for Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, got engaged to his longtime partner Jay McClure. The couple has been together for nearly seven years and will marry in New Hampshire.
Resources Related to New Hampshire
A media primer on the LGBT issues landscape for the coming year released by the Human Rights Campaign.
WMUR Granite State Poll found that 62 percent of New Hampshire voters want to keep the state's law allowing marriages for same-sex couples.
A listing of both state and national political parties that have made strong statements in support of the freedom to marry.