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October 24, 2011 Print

New Hampshire to Vote on Marriage Restoration Bill

by Karla Dial

At 11 a.m. ET Tuesday, the New Hampshire House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to take up — and vote on — a bill restoring the natural definition of marriage statewide.

Last year, the Cornerstone State legalized same-sex marriage — and before that, passed a law creating civil unions for same-sex couples. The bill to be considered Tuesday, HB 437, would allow all those relationships and their contingent benefits to remain untouched, but prevent further same-sex marriages from being performed.

Kevin Smith, executive director of Cornerstone Action, admitted that if the bill eventually becomes law, it will create two classes of same-sex couples in New Hampshire—those with the tax benefits of marriage, and those without. That, however, is better than trying to repeal same-sex marriage all in one shot and having the matter ultimately decided by courts, he said.

“Our opponents didn’t go for everything all in one bite, either,” he said. “While some people may want a complete restoration of marriage, and also having no civil unions or anything like mutual beneficiaries, the political reality is I don’t think that’s possible at this time.

“The bill isn’t perfect — no bill is — but I still think this is a step in the right direction,” he continued. “There will be people on both sides who won’t be happy with it, which perhaps means we’ve struck the right balance.”

Read New Hampshire HB 437.


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