CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire lawmakers voted Thursday to authorize civil unions and sent the measure to Gov. John Lynch, who announced last week that he would sign it.
"This legislation is a matter of conscience, fairness and of preventing discrimination," said Colin Manning, a spokesman for the Democratic governor. "It is in keeping with New Hampshire's proud tradition of preventing discrimination."
Three other states already offer civil unions for gay couples: New Jersey, Connecticut and Vermont. Neighboring Massachusetts in 2004 became the only state to allow gay marriage.
Unlike other states, there was no active court challenge to push New Hampshire to act on the issue.
In fact, the success of civil unions was an about-face from two years earlier, when a study panel recommended New Hampshire giving no meaningful consideration to extending legal recognition to gay couples.
That panel had concluded that homosexuality was a choice, and it endorsed a constitutional amendment to limit marriage to unions between a man and a woman. State lawmakers have defeated proposed constitutional bans on same-sex marriage two years in a row.
Sponsors of the civil unions bill called it a door to marriage in all aspects but name. Opponents argued it would lead to the collapse of traditional values.
"Let's just call it what it really is, no sugarcoating," said Republican Sen. Robert Letourneau, of Derry. "This creates same-sex marriage. There is no right to marriage in either the New Hampshire Constitution or the federal Constitution."
"We don't let blind people drive or felons vote, all for good and obvious reasons," he said.
Thursday's legislation, passed 14-10 along party lines in the Senate — Democrats in favor, Republicans opposed — will allow civil unions in New Hampshire starting Jan. 1.
Washington, Maine, California, New York and Washington D.C., recognize domestic partnerships. New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer this week pledged to introduce gay marriage legislation in the next few weeks.
Originally posted at:
After I read the article above, I looked up Sen. Robert Letourneau and found his email address:
...and then I wrote him the following:
Dear Senator,I have yet to receive a response.
I just read the following quote from you in an Associated Press story with respect to your disapproval of civil unions:
"We don't let blind people drive or felons vote, all for good and obvious reasons," you said.
I couldn't believe that someone would make such a statement devoid of logic or reason, a statement so disconnected from the issue at hand and that (at any rate) you're on the wrong side of. However, noting that you are, in fact, a Republican and a homophobe (sorry if I'm repeating myself), I guess this is indeed plausible.
Even giving you the benefit of the doubt, I thought I ought to provide you with what I hope will be constructive feedback while informing you what I and the rest of the American public are thinking right now:
YOU ARE A FUCKING IDIOT.
Thank you for your time and the great laugh at your expense. Keep up the great work in making your party's rhetoric look as asinine as their position continues to be.
-Not one of your constituents, don't worry.
p.s. In fact, I'm a straight white guy in Texas, just to give you an idea how far removed you are from the thinking of the civilized world at the moment.
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