New Hampshire panel rejects gay marriage at session punctuated by heated argument | VailDaily.com
YOUR AD HERE »

New Hampshire panel rejects gay marriage at session punctuated by heated argument

CONCORD, N.H. – A state commission on same-sex unions dealt a series of defeats Monday to proponents of gay marriage.The panel voted to urge state lawmakers not to allow gays to marry, not to recognize out-of-state same-sex unions, and not to set up a domestic partner registry for couples who cannot legally marry.”My hope is before I die I will be able to approach a justice of the peace in the state of New Hampshire and be legally married,” said Ed Butler, an openly gay commission member, who had submitted the recommendation for marriage.Soon afterward, the panel defeated his recommendation by a 10-2 vote.The commission has been meeting since April, gathering testimony from the public as well as doctors and other experts. It is expected to issue its report to the Legislature on Dec. 1.Earlier this month, the panel voted to recommend a constitutional amendment stating marriage is between one woman and one man, though the measure seems unlikely to gain traction in the Legislature.Since Massachusetts last year became the first state to allow same-sex marriage, 41 others have passed laws or constitutional amendments banning it.Many of the New Hampshire panel’s meetings have been marked by conflict, and Monday’s was no different, with an argument between the chairman and another member escalating into a shouting match.The dispute was sparked when the member accused the chairman of using homophobic slurs against an openly gay panelist.


Support Local Journalism