NH House To Get Marriage Bill
On January 7th, openly gay New Hampshire state Rep. Jim Splaine will introduce an amendment to change that state's recent civil union law into one that provides for full marriage equality.
When legislators meet in 2009, there will be several bills to consider that deal with civil unions and gay marriage. State Rep. Jim Splaine, D-Portsmouth, submitted a bill asking that civil unions, which are currently recognized by the state, be changed to allow marriage. State Rep. Paul McEachern, D-Portsmouth, is co-sponsoring the bill. "The bill would essentially provide for full marriage equality," Splaine said. "I submitted the bill because I think it's important that we keep this dialogue going." Splaine said the bill will be presented on Jan. 7 along with the other bills introduced for the session. He said then it will be scheduled for a public hearing or sent to a committee.There have been over 600 civil unions in New Hampshire since the law took effect last year.
Splaine said that although civil unions are recognized in New Hampshire, gay marriage is not. He said a bill introduced by state Rep. David Hess, R-Hooksett, would prohibit New Hampshire from recognizing gay marriages performed in other states as civil unions here. "I introduced — in 2006 — a civil union bill and a lot of people thought it was not a good time, but it passed in 2007," he said. "I offered an amendment to add full equality for marriage, and that didn't pass. This is my second try at getting full marriage equality."