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New Hampshire House panel to vote on repeal of same-sex marriage law


CONCORD, N.H. — The New Hampshire House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday is scheduled to vote on whether or not to recommend repealing New Hampshire’s same-sex marriage law and replacing it with civil unions for any unmarried adults, including relatives.

The action follows a subcommittee recommendation that the House pass the bill to repeal the law, which took effect last year and legalized same-sex unions.

The measure calls for establishment of civil unions for any unmarried adults who are legally eligible.

Opponents of the measure argue that the legislation will return New Hampshire to a period where civil unions did not provide legal protections for same-sex couples, however, State Rep. David Bates (R-Windham, N.H.), the bill’s chief sponsor, said there is no reason to limit civil unions and the legal protections they provide solely to same-sex couples.

If the House Judiciary Committee recommends passage to the House, the full House will vote on it in January. If passed, it would than go before the State Senate, and a public hearing would be held on the proposed legislation.

Currently, there are more than 1,713 married, same-sex couples in the state.

New Hampshire is one of only six states, along with the District of Columbia, where same-sex marriage is legal.

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