May 14th, 2009
04:32 PM ET
5 years ago

NH governor offers to sign same-sex marriage into law

(CNN) - New Hampshire Gov. Jon Lynch said Thursday that he will sign into law a bill allowing same-sex couples to wed - but only after the state legislature agrees to his terms.

"This morning, I met with House and Senate leaders, and the sponsors of this legislation, and gave them language that will provide additional protections to religious institutions," he said in a statement. "This new language will provide the strongest and clearest protections for religious institutions and associations, and for the individuals working with such institutions.

"...But following that tradition means we must act to protect both the liberty of same-sex couples and religious liberty. In their current form, I do not believe these bills accomplish those goals."

Lynch said if the state legislature passes the new language, he will sign the bill into law. Otherwise, he will veto the measure.

"We can and must treat both same-sex couples and people of certain religious traditions with respect and dignity," he said. "I believe this proposed language will accomplish both of these goals and I urge the legislature to pass it."

Lynch said he has spent the past weeks and months speaking to lawmakers, religious leaders and constituents in order to form his decision after New Hampshire's Legislature voted to approved same-sex marriages in the state.

The Granite State will, if approved by the governor, become the sixth state in the nation - alongside Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Iowa and Vermont - to provide marriage benefits to gays and lesbians.

"Given the cultural, historical and religious significance of the word marriage, this is a meaningful change," he said.

"I have heard, and I understand, the very real feelings of same-sex couples that a separate system is not an equal system. That a civil law that differentiates between their committed relationships and those of heterosexual couples undermines both their dignity and the legitimacy of their families."


Filed under: New Hampshire • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. Lee from Maine

    What is the language? What kind of reporting is this?

    May 14, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  2. ib

    PATHETIC!!!!!!!

    May 14, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  3. Gabe

    America has a history of accepting the minority; it's nice to see New Hampshire following suit

    May 14, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  4. Marie

    I am just amazed at all these religious right-wingers.

    I wonder how many would support a law stating:

    Marriage: one man, one woman, one time. ie NO DIVORCE and certainly no remarriage.

    Seems like support is evaporating faster than RUSH can pop oxycodone!!!!

    May 14, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  5. Proud Member..Party of No

    Another governor that needs to be voted out.......passing laws despite what the people want.

    May 14, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. Jerry

    To all you fools that are talking smack about sodomy laws, what you don't do your wife like that? and you can't if you lie and say you don't either? We all know the truth.

    This country is based on freedom of speech, religions, human rights, persecution etc.

    Are you people wanting to go back into the stone ages?

    GREAT NEWS New Hampshire! MOVE FORWARD!

    May 14, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. nwatcher

    Francisco – why is it whenever Jesus is brought into the discussion, people always mention how he associated with sinners and social outcasts, demonstrated love to them etc (which is all true..). But, finish your thought with the rest of the story for those who haven't read it for themselves. He also ended those contacts with some version of pointing out the sin and sending them on their way with the admonition to "go and sin no more". Having said that, I hope there is some protection for me hidden somewhere in the latest "hate crime" bill for offering a different viewpoint than Paris Hilton...

    May 14, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. MESA MICK

    Gay marriage via civil unions and hetro marriages via "the religion of your choice". Now that is fair and protects both parties rights.
    Probelm solved, now if the religious right will let us, let's move on to really important governmental issues like the economy, jobs, global warming, energy independance, education reform, health care, etc. etc.

    May 14, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  9. Texas Annie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    Sounds like BLACKMAIL from the Governoe to me.

    May 14, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  10. Aaron Seattle

    Phoenix: You really need to update your understanding on sodomy laws bucko.

    Good job NH! Last up to bat in New England is Rhode Island. When is WA going to pass same-sex marriage? "Everything but Marriage" bill which just passed is utter nonsense.

    May 14, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  11. En Sandiego

    "I have heard, and I understand, the very real feelings of same-sex couples that a separate system is not an equal system. That a civil law that differentiates between their committed relationships and those of heterosexual couples undermines both their dignity and the legitimacy of their families."
    At least Gov. Lynch had the courage to listen and make effort to understand what treated people "equal" means!

    May 14, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  12. Erik from Real Pennsylvania

    Legally "marriage" is a contract sanctioned by the government between two people allowing for mutual risk management and shared property. It's sexually discriminatory to allow one person to enter into this agreement but not another, based solely on who they find attractive or the shape of their bodies (and when was the last time a court clerk, much less a clergyperson, actually checked?). It's comparable to requiring both parties involved in a title transfer to have the same eye color. If a church wants to withhold a certain blessing or religious status for a relationship, so be it, but laws pronouncing the "sanctity" of marriage (as in "sacredness") are unconstitutional. The government shouldn't be involved in sacredness. The solution? EVERYBODY gets a civil union regardless of gender, and governments get out of the marriage business entirely and leave "marriage" to the churches. A win-win situation.

    May 14, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  13. HolyKow

    So far every state that has approved granting civil rights that should have never been denied (in this case, same sex marriage) has not exploded or fallen off into the sea, or imploded into a singularity that enveloped the entire universe.

    We the people did not mean we the hetro-white-male-landowner. It has taken us well over 200 years to get that thru some peoples' head. It means everyone deserves to be able to secure the blessings of liberty, posterity and justice.

    We are stronger as a nation because of our inclusion of all peoples, no matter the color of their skin, the religion they choose or who the choose to spend their short time on this earth with.

    Now if the Bible Thumpers (I'm talking to you confederate states!) could just get the separation of church and state thing straight, we could make some real progress!

    HK

    May 14, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  14. Eric in NJ

    I am amazed that the religious people in this country still feel they have a right to dictate the laws in this country. If you want to be part of this country and be involved in the lawmaking, then start paying taxes. End of story. This is not a Christian country, this a country free of religious persecution, and that is exactly what the religious nuts in the country are doing to gays. Well I've had it. It's time for all you religious people to grow up and realized that your religion is a made up fairytale and all the rules and laws associated with it were made up by men. You have no right to base your arguments on fiction. Jesus never exsisted and even if he did, he never said one bad thing about gays.

    May 14, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  15. steel

    WOW...a Republican governor signing a same sex marriage bill.
    Congrats to New Hampshire...Don't Tread On Them!

    What's going on in Rhode Island?

    May 14, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  16. Houston4567

    Let us not worry about any thing. we should be like animals. who cres about father mother brother sister. let us have sex any way we want who needs to regulate what as long as you are happy being animals is what we deserve

    May 14, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  17. HolyKow

    Houston, no one should regulate who has sex with who. And if you could progress past primal urges, it is not about sex, it is about love. Something you are plainly devoid of in your life.

    Sad.

    HK

    May 14, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  18. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Goodie, goodie, goodie! So, when can I marry my goat?

    May 14, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  19. John Poggendorf; Prescott, AZ

    Hey NH Legislature:

    I say LET your governor go ahead and veto the bill.

    LET him soil himself in front of the entire nation!!!

    Then YOU ALL override his veto and let the world know [a] due process is the right of EVERYONE in this country, and [b] we've had enough religious intrusion in our lives in this country to choke a horse! Enough is ENOUGH!

    May 14, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  20. williedp

    Unfortunately, as this post so clearly illustrates, so many of the right wing bigots are uneducated and ignorant. You should learn how to write a proper sentence before you take up the issue of gay marriage, as this seems way above your comprehension level.

    May 14, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  21. bob in LA

    Jon Lynch suffers from the same delusion as most opponents of same sex marraige in assuming marraige is a religious ceremony.
    The "law" will require a "license" . Any ceremony is for the "witnessing of a contract".
    Churches have always been free to say no to marrying even straight couples because theirs is a "ceremonial ritual" with no "governmental regulation."
    How dificult is this to follow? This should not even be an issue in the U.S. -we require equal rights for all citizens.

    May 14, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  22. Mari( maybe one of my comments will be posted)

    @ Phoenix86........ I am going to say a prayer for you, you poor soul! Your comments are either mean or just lies taken from 'Faux News' & AM radio. Please take care of what you say, there is karma....... and what goes around comes around.

    Even though I am a liberal, I would prefer if Civil Unions were enough for the LGBT community.

    Please someone explain why, it must be ........ marriage? And why a Civil Union is not enough? Thanks.

    May 14, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  23. Ia Guy

    phoenix86 May 14th, 2009 4:40 pm ET

    Another state goes gay. The next National Govenors meeting will need to take place in a state without sodomy laws.
    ---------

    You're a moron. Like gays or not, they deserve the same rights as you do. I agree that religious institutions should have verbaige protecting them from formally recognizing gay marriage (as in performing them..after all marriage is a civil right)...it's their right to do so.

    I'm even an aethiest but my views shouldn't be forced on others just like the church needs to keeps it's views out of our government and the daily lives of all Americans, LIKE ME, who do not share their beliefs...that's what living in a FREE country is supposed to be about.

    May 14, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  24. Ia Guy

    Houston4567 May 14th, 2009 5:50 pm ET

    Let us not worry about any thing. we should be like animals. who cres about father mother brother sister. let us have sex any way we want who needs to regulate what as long as you are happy being animals is what we deserve
    -----------

    Hmmm..you must be an ape as you are obviously lacking any real intelligence.

    May 14, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  25. ling

    I am sick of all the gay bull-crap. Your freedoms my backside. Should I have the right to marry 2 or 3 different people because it's equality? No. Marriage is one man, one woman, not 2 men or two women or 3 men and 6 women.

    May 14, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
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