Friday, May 29, 2009

N.H. Finally Ready to Get Same-Sex Marriage

With loopholes big enough for trained dogs to jump through, the New Hampshire legislature and Gov. John Lynch look like they have a workable compromise all can approve. It's likely that Wednesday this coming week will be the day for a tweaked bill to get to Lynch and him to sign it.

To placate the anti-gay and anti-marriage equality sorts, the revised bill ended up today with wording even stronger than Lynch proposed when he sent it back to the lawmakers for revisions. The concurrence committee of both houses put in broad conscience exemptions for nearly anyone connected with the wedding business.

As the AP writer put it:
The new version, which is expected to come up for a vote Wednesday, adds a sentence specifying that all religious organizations, associations or societies have exclusive control over their religious doctrines, policies, teachings and beliefs on marriage. It also clarifies that church-related organizations that serve charitable or educational purposes are exempt from having to provide insurance and other benefits to same sex spouses of employees. The earlier version said "charitable and educational" instead of "charitable or educational."
That could very well end up in Law Suit City if enough regressive sorts put their hands to their foreheads sighing that they sensibilities are being ravished by having to deal with homosexuals. Or, as Rep. Anthony DiFruscia put it more colorfully, "Hypothetically, if I'm a Nazi... do I now get an exemption because my conscience says if you're not blond and blue-eyed, I can discriminate against you?"

Regardless the governor was looking to pretend that he forced religious protection into this bill. Pretty much what he was asking for was already law and it was the fringe added to the canopy he proposed. The range of the compromise committee was a single sentence, plus one more word to the entire bill.

It looks like Wednesday will be wedding day.

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