Thursday, May 31, 2007

New New Hampshire Unions

The hardy plant of equality continues to grow in New England. Gov. John Lynch did in fact sign the civil unions bill.

Unions can start on January 1, 2008.

Before 100 supporters in the state house's Executive Council chambers, he iterated his approval and support. His signing remarks were:
Dating back to the Abolitionist movement, we in New Hampshire have a long, proud history of taking the lead in opposing discrimination. Today, that tradition continues. Today, we are taking an important step against discrimination. Today, we are acting to protect New Hampshire families.

Over the last several months, I have spoken with hundreds of people about this issue, and most of those people support civil unions. Some support civil unions, but feel it may be happening too fast, or too soon. Others oppose civil unions altogether and see it as a threat to marriage.

I've listened and heard all the arguments. I do not believe this bill threatens marriage. I believe this is a matter of conscience and fairness. And my view is that, it's never too soon to act to prevent discrimination.

People in committed relationships should not have to worry about visiting a loved one in a hospital, or whether their loved ones will inherit their estate, or the many other legal protections so many of us take for granted. How could any one of us look into the eyes of our neighbors, our friends, or our loved ones if we continued to deny them these basic legal protections?

That is why I am pleased to be here today as we further the interest of fairness, dignity and the strengthening of families.

That is truly the New Hampshire way

So, it's Massachusetts for marriage, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, and now New Hampshire for civil unions. New York is weighing marriage, as is Rhode Island. Maine has civil partnerships and passed and upheld its gay-rights bill. All in all, this is a good region for marriage equality, living and growing.

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