NH Gay Couples to Ring In 2010 With Weddings

Some 40 pairs have applied as state legalizes same-sex marraige
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 31, 2009 12:58 PM CST
Jeffry Burr, left, and Neil Blair are seen at their home in Franconia, NH. They're already civilly committed, but will finally be legally married as New Hampshire legalizes gay marriage.   (Jim Cole)

(Newser) – Jeffry Burr and Neil Blair are just hours from their wedding, but there are no typical prenuptial jitters. After all, this is the third time they've exchanged vows. First they had their emotional—but legally meaningless—2006 commitment ceremony, then a civil commitment ceremony in 2008. Now, thanks to a new law, they'll be officially married, in a subdued ceremony more about pronouncing their civil equality than anything else. "It's the third time," Blair says. "How excited are you supposed to be?"

They're just one of the 40 gay couples that had applied for marriage licenses as of late December. The new law won't actually grant the couples any new rights, it simply eliminates the distinction between gay and straight unions. "This is big," says one bride-to-be. "The word marriage means a lot. It's universally recognized. It's not about rights. It's about being accepted. It's about being part of the community and part of society."

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