May 14th, 2009
04:32 PM ET
9 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. 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 |
  2. Ia Guy

    HolyKow May 14th, 2009 5:38 pm ET

    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.

    Actually there was an article about that in how Mass. no longer see's it as a big deal, except of course the right-wing religious nut jobs. All the warnings about the sky falling are still there, but they amended that to say that it's still happening...just moving at a slower pace than excepted. ... LOL.. I mean REALLy!

    May 14, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Geeesh...don't support this Governor's superficial support of gay marriage until you've read what his caveat is. He's probably trying to make sure it's "separate but equal" like I said below. Don't be fooled.

    May 14, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    What the fundies don't seem to realize is that in their fervor to score a victory by inserting their religious beliefs into our secular government, they will inadvertantly suffer a massive defeat by opening the door for our secular government to insert itself into their religion.


    May 14, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  5. seanboy1975

    A few clarifications – (A) Sodomy laws were struck down by the Supreme Court awhile ago...(B) This country is FINALLY moving forward in what it preaches to the rest of the world....(C) Today the Wisconsin Supreme Court agreed to hear a case challenging it voter backed amendment.......Face the fact folks America have finally stopped buying the Republican scare tactics of the past and have decided together we are a better straight black white male female we are all one....and to finish! YES WE CAN!!!!!!

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

    this is for eric – did you know there is more physical evidence to support the existence of jesus than napolean bonaparte? I too believe it is not the right of any religion to dominate the lives of American citizens, but whether or not you agree with Christianity, I'm sure you can appreciate that there are some within its ranks who actually follow Christ's mandate to "live in peace with others, as far as possible."

    May 14, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  7. Jeff J.

    Jon Lynch is a Democrat... I think more and more Americans are beginning to realize that one of the next national rights campaigns will be that of same-sex couples.

    May 14, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  8. AJ

    Yo Steel,
    Lynch is a Demo, not a Republican.

    May 14, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  9. Sara from Arizona

    Marriage= Man and woman only.

    May 14, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  10. YBM

    dicksuckers and carpetmunchers need to be done away with. Or if allowed to exist should not be allowed to have anything to do with children. Our children should not be taught that such a lifestyle choice is ok.

    May 14, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  11. Daniel, Atlanta, GA, ex-republican

    I left my membership to Evangelical Christianity, because it has failed to follow the true teaching of Jesus! Jesus NEVER wanted his words to be used to condemn people. Jesus only condemned one group of people: the Pharisees! Evangelicals are Pharisees! The pick and choose scriptures out of context to create their doctrines. I know, because I was trained in fundamentalist theology, where the common belief/practice is that it's okay to take scripture out of context and use it.

    Evanglical Christians have become mean-spirited bigots. It's really sad!

    May 14, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  12. YBM

    Eric in NJ May 14th, 2009 5:46 pm ET

    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
    Ok, thats it, out of the gene pool. We don't need such idiocy being spread around.

    May 14, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  13. Allan

    The arc of history is long but it bends toward justice.

    May 14, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  14. lalaland:{

    ihave nothing against the gay community but i do not agree with them. its nice thatNH has signed the law but the bible still states that its wrong.p.s. 4 the person who wrote that Jesus did not exest, HE DID EINSTEIN!!! anyone can prove it to you!!!

    May 14, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  15. YBM

    And so the United States continues its trek downhill, just like the Roman Empire, and for pretty much the same reasons.

    May 14, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. Chris

    What are you talking about.. the governor of New Hampshire is not a Republican.. LOL you all are soo smart!

    May 14, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  17. Moderate Democrat

    Proud Member..Party of No May 14th, 2009 5:24 pm ET

    Another governor that needs to be voted out…….passing laws despite what the people want.
    So by your logic, Mr. No, I would have to assume your tag makes you a complete hypocrite. Because when republicans vote against Obama's plans, they are voting against what the majority of americans are wanting. Right?

    Oh yea, that's right. You people live in a vacuum (although the vacuum hasn't been invented in your mind yet, the earth is 6000 years old, it's flat and the sun revolves around us).

    May 14, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  18. Marine Vet


    CONGRATULATIONS to all of the gay and lesbian families in New Hampshire that will no longer be hurtfully shut out of the rights, responsibilities, protections and dignity of marriage.

    Their families and their children will be much stronger because of this and so will the great state of New Hampshire. New York and New Jersey next!!!!!

    May 14, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  19. Marine Vet

    Also, any morons talking about sodomy laws. There are no such things in the United States of America anymore.

    The Supreme Court decided that the government has no business peering into your bedroom. The handful of states that still had sodomy laws had those laws rendered null and void. Look out, the future of freedom and equality is on it's way 🙂 🙂 🙂

    May 14, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  20. Bill

    Allowing "religious institutions" (whatever that means) to discriminate? Religious institutions have historically tried to discriminate against Americans of color and women, but were ultimately not permitted to by law. Why permit bigotry in this case governor?

    May 14, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  21. Gerry

    Hey Steel – Lynch is a democrat. I guess it's about time we get a new governor and legislature in New Hampshire. This is something the peopld should vote on. They don't let the people of New Hampshire vote on anything. Wait until the next vote.

    May 14, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  22. obamamama

    Our nation is clearly being flushed down the toilet of sin. Hope you enjoy the Tribulation.

    May 14, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  23. obamamama

    Thank God for the confederate states, holykow.

    May 14, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  24. ss

    All should be made legal Polygamy, inordinate affections, anything that questions the morals of human relationships, rights and peers. It is not fair to accept the rights of one and not the other. First Cousin should be allowed to marry. So should brother and sister. Why do gays and lesbian only get the right to marry? The legal to marry should be changed to sixteen to protect teenage parents and their rights to have children. The legal drinking age should be eighteen years to protect the rights of minors. Why should gay and lesbian only have rights?

    May 14, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  25. Hal

    I don't care if the law is going to be passed or not- but Lynch is a hypercrite due to his being against same sex marriage a couple of years ago. I guess he wants to be sure that he is on the democrat bandwagon!

    May 14, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
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