Civil unions granted in New Hampshireby Jason Pye
The Governor of New Hampshire has signed a bill granting civil unions to gay and lesbian couples into law:
Gay couples in New Hampshire will able to join in civil unions starting next year under a bill Gov. John Lynch signed into law Thursday.
“We in New Hampshire have had a long and proud tradition taking the lead and opposing discrimination,” Lynch said. “Today that tradition continues.”
Couples entering civil unions will have the same rights, responsibilities and obligations as married couples. Same-sex unions from other states also would be recognized if they were legal in the state where they were performed.
Several Northeastern states already offer civil unions.
Massachusetts alone among the U.S. states allows gay marriage. Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, Maine, as well as California and Washington allow either civil unions or domestic partnerships, and Oregon will join the list with New Hampshire in January. Hawaii extends certain spousal rights to same-sex couples and cohabiting heterosexual pairs.
I prefer to refer to it as extending equal protection under the law or recognizing the individual’s right to contract (a negative liberty). Really government should not take preference towards any group, whether they are married or gay, black or white. It is a matter of individual liberty.
Many people, specifically the younger generation, are becoming more socially tolerant on matters like this. The harm principle argument is becoming relevant again, to some extent at least. A crusade against gays is not a national platform to win elections. It is at best a temporary, meaningless political issue to cater to Pat Robertson and James Dobson as a mean to drive…dare I say it…”Christianists” (those who have turned their religious beliefs into a political philosophy) to the polls.