Questions Remain Over Same-Sex Marriage Bill
Posted on May 8, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
CONCORD, N.H. — A day after the New Hampshire House passed a bill approving same-sex marriage in the state, questions remain about the impact the law would have on the Granite State.
Extended Video: Gov. Lynch On Gay Marriage Bill Decision
Once the bill reaches Gov. John Lynch’s desk, he has five days to decide what to do with it. Lynch hasn’t given an indication what his plans are.
State Rep. Jim Splaine, D-Portsmouth, the author of both the civil union law and the same-sex marriage bill, conceded that currently there is little difference between the two in the eyes of the federal government.
“Any state which has same-gendered couples under civil unions cannot qualify for the 1,100 or so benefits of federal law,” Splaine said.
Those benefits range from survivor benefits to joint tax filings. But Splaine said he hopes that if the federal government considers the recognition of marriage between same-sex couples, New Hampshire will have made an important preemptive move.
“Very much so, and I think by adopting civil marriages and religious marriages, it encourages the federal government to make that move,” Splaine said.
But there is still considerable concern for some regarding the language of the bill. Under the religious marriage section, it protects churches and clergy members who choose not to perform the ceremony. See Questions Remain Over Same-Sex Marriage Bill
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