Since this post was written comes this paragraph from the New York Times.
Legislative leaders indicated they would allow the changes, making it all but certain that New Hampshire will become the sixth state to allow marriage between gay couples.
Though I have problems giving bigots any ground to stand on this is another huge step forward.
Now back to your original programming…..err…I mean post….
The word today from New Hamspire Governor John Lynch was good news indeed. He will sign a gay marriage bill into law. But first he wants a change in the wording of the current legislation that will tighten up the rules concerning those who have some religious beliefs who might feel better with added language. This thing is close to becoming law in New Hampshire folks!
Gov. John Lynch said today he would sign legislation that would legalize same-sex marriages if it gives the “strongest and clearest” protection for individuals who don’t wish to take part due to their religious beliefs.
Lynch told reporters he gave to legislative leaders corrective language similar to what Connecticut has in its same-sex marriage law.
“If the Legislature passes this language, I will sign the same-sex marriage bill into law,” Lynch told reporters during a quickly called briefing in his office.
“If the Legislature doesn’t pass these provisions, I will veto it.”
The suggested change would only give a legal protection to individuals working directly for a religious organization or an entity that a religious group owns or controls.
The change, for example, would not permit a self-employed photographer or caterer to refuse to work because a same-sex marriage ceremony violated their own religious beliefs.
Lynch said the core of the bill changes the term civil union to civil marriage.
“Given the cultural, historical and religious significance of the word marriage, this is a meaningful change,” Lynch said.
The prime sponsor of the gay marriage bill – Portsmouth Democratic State Rep. James Splaine – said they will study Lynch’s suggested change but this marked a big turning point for the campaign to make New Hampshire the sixth state to legalize marriage for gay and lesbian couples.
“The important thing is John Lynch has said today he comes down on the side of marriage equality in New Hampshire,” Splaine said.
“Now the question is how do we make it work.”
This means supporters will ask House Speaker Terie Norelli, D-Portsmouth, and Senate President Sylvia Larsen, D-Concord, to hold onto the gay marriage bill (HB 436) and one that fixes mistakes and omissions in the first (HB 310) so the Legislature can quickly pass a third that contains Lynch’s suggested change.
A leading suspect to make the Lynch-desired amendment is a pending bill in the State Senate (HB 73) making changes to the solemnization of marriages.