New Hampshire Legislature Rejects Amended Marriage-Equality Bill

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The Old Man of the Mountain used to be the symbol of New Hampshire. Then it fell down. This doesn't have anything to do with this post, but it was also a big deal for those of us who've lived in the 'Shire. Photo: Wikipedia

After New Hampshire governor John Lynch said he would sign a marriage-equality bill that passed through both the State Senate and House of Representatives provided that it be amended to include language protecting religious organizations from having to perform ceremonies contrary to their own beliefs, it almost seemed like a sure thing that gay weddings would begin in the state as early as this summer. Indeed, the New Hampshire Senate approved the additional wording 14–0, but this afternoon the House of Representatives narrowly rejected it, 188–186. The House then voted 207–168 to ask the Senate to negotiate a compromise. According to Reuters, new opponents this time around (last time the measure passed in the House 178–167) objected to the inclusion of potential discriminatory language in state law, and to the lack of public input in this lengthening process. Lynch has said he will not sign a bill without his religious language, so for the moment, forward momentum on this issue has stalled in the state. Had it passed today, it would have been the fifth New England state to have legalized gay marriage (leaving only Rhode Island behind) and the sixth state in the nation.

New Hampshire lawmakers reject gay-marriage bill [Reuters]