So it’s official- Governor Lynch has signed the bill making New Hampshire the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriages. This comes only two years after the state legalized civil unions.
As a former New Hampshire resident, I find myself torn on this news- on the one hand, I am against gay marriage, and Governor Lynch has shown yet again that he has no backbone (he has declared numerous times his opposition to same-sex marriage, and a willingness to veto it). Lastly, according to this blog and a June 3 editorial in the New Hampshire Union Leader, the New Hampshire legislature has violated the rules of both chambers to pass the bill. This latter point, especially, is galling to me.
However, my chagrin is balanced by pride in the state and our governor — New Hampshire has attacked this issue as it should be handled — on a state level, through elected representatives (I would prefer a direct vote, but this one works just as legally and ethically). Unlike Iowa and many other states, we legalized gay marriage through our elected representatives and their respective beliefs on both the issue itself and what their constituents would want. Regarding Governor Lynch, he refused to sign the original bill that passed a few weeks ago until VERY specific language was put in protecting religious freedom and independence.
Overall, the people’s representatives have spoken — gay marriage is legal in New Hampshire. We will see if this has the negative effect most conservatives believe it will over the long run, but for now I am pleased that the religious freedoms we hold dear across the country and New Hampshire (“Live Free or Die,” remember) will be protected, as they should be.