For Immediate Release
Brad Luna 202/216.1514 Cell: 202/812.8140
Trevor Thomas 202/216.1547 Cell: 202/250.9758
Human Rights Campaign Update on New Hampshire Marriage Equality Bill
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released the following statement today from National Field Director Marty Rouse, who is on the ground working in New Hampshire. For the latest updates, please visit: www.HRCBackStory.org.
"In a series of votes today, the New Hampshire House displayed a definite willingness to pass a marriage equality bill - evidenced by a very strong vote of 173-202 when presented with a question to indefinitely postpone consideration of the issue (in other words, to kill it).
"While the House voted not to adopt today's version of the amended marriage bill by a very close vote of 186-188, clearly the members of the House want to see marriage equality passed based on the strong vote not to kill it entirely. The House will now convene a conference committee to hash out differences in good faith in order to schedule another vote perhaps as soon as in the next two weeks.
"We will of course keep you updated and New Hampshire residents should continue contacting their legislators to tell them to support marriage equality."
Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont (as of September 1, 2009), and Maine (as of mid-September 2009, pending possible repeal effort) recognize marriage for same-sex couples under state law.
Five states-California, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington (as of July 26, 2009, pending possible repeal effort)-plus Washington, D.C. provide same-sex couples with access to the state level benefits and responsibilities of marriage, through either civil unions or domestic partnerships.
Hawaii provides same-sex couples with limited rights and benefits. New York recognizes marriages by same-sex couples validly entered into outside of New York. California recognized marriage by same-sex couples between June and November of 2008, before voters approved Proposition 8, which purports to amend the state constitution to prohibit marriage equality. The Proposition 8 vote has been challenged in court; a decision by the state supreme court is expected by June 1.
The New York Legislature is considering marriage legislation that would permit same-sex couples to marry, and the D.C. Council has passed legislation that would recognize marriages by same-sex couples legally entered into in other jurisdictions (that legislation is going through a Congressional review period).
Same-sex couples do not receive federal rights and benefits in any state. To learn more about state by state legislation visit: www.hrc.org/state_laws.
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The Human Rights Campaign represents a grassroots force of over 750,000 members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, HRC envisions an America where LGBT people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.