NH Legalizes Gay Marriage

Gov. Lynch expected to sign it today
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Jun 3, 2009 4:34 PM CDT
Lynch is expected to sign the revised gay marriage bill later today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – New Hampshire became the sixth state to allow same-sex marriage when Gov. John Lynch signed legislation this afternoon shortly after it was approved by lawmakers, the AP reports. Legislators hammered out a new version clearly spelling out that churches and religious groups would not be forced to officiate at gay marriages or provide other services after Lynch threatened a veto.

The Senate passed the measure today, and the House of Representatives—where the outcome was more in doubt—followed later in the day. The House gallery erupted in cheers after the 198-176 vote. New Hampshire's law takes effect Jan. 1. Lynch, a Democrat, personally opposes gay marriage but decided to view the issue "through a broader lens."