Gay Marriage Hits Snag in NH
By Jacqueline L. Salmon
New Hampshire's House of Representatives has slowed what had appeared to be an inexorable march toward legalization of same-sex marriage in the Granite State. But the fight ain't over yet.
New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch had wanted a beefed-up exemption for religious organizations before he would sign the bill passed by the legislature, but the state's House of Representatives rejected the changes.
"The vote made the bill's survival less certain, but the measure is not dead yet," reports the New York Times. It will now move to a legislative joint committee, which will try to find language acceptable to all. But maybe it won't be acceptable to Lynch, a Democrat, who has said a marriage should only be between a man and a woman, then abruptly announced last week that he would sign a same-sex marriage bill if it strengthened protections for religious organizations.
Lynch wanted language in the bill that would better protect churches and their employees against lawsuits, if their beliefs preclude them from marrying gays. He also wants to protect any religious group, and anyone working for such a group, from having to provide gay couples with counseling, married-couple housing and other ''promotion of marriage'' services.
For a clear-headed look at this emotional issue, check out the discussion by Ira Lupu, professor of law, and Robert Tuttle, professor of law and religion, at George Washington University Law School, at Pew Forum for Religion & Public Life. (Don't worry. They speak in clear English, not legalese).
Jacqueline L. Salmon
May 21, 2009; 3:36 PM ET
God in Government
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