Today, the New Hampshire state Senate and House voted yes to same-sex marriage, and Governor Lynch signed the bill into law.
It was a lot more complicated than that, and things got pretty tense from my point of view during the House debate, especially when the streaming audio cut out during the actual vote! But it all worked out in the end.
As I understand it, same-sex weddings will commence in NH on January 1, 2010.
It's not clear to me what the chances are that there'll be attempts to reverse this; I don't know how feasible it would be for the opposition to try to amend NH's constitution, for example. I'm sure there'll be articles about that soon. But for now, I'm just gonna be excited that the bill finally made it into law.
Thanks to all the legislators who voted for it, to everyone who worked to make this happen, and especially to state Representative Jim Splaine and the fine folks at New Hampshire Freedom to Marry. (Note: their site hasn't yet been updated as of this writing, and a video + sound ad starts playing as soon as you follow link.)
Quick status overview, showing dates of first weddings:
|Vermont||Sep. 2009 (expected)|
|New Hampshire||Jan. 2010 (expected)|
And status of same-sex marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships in a few other places where things have changed recently:
|California||Made illegal by Prop 8, which was just upheld by the state Supreme Court; about 18,000 existing same-sex marriages are valid/recognized; repeal of Prop 8 may be on the ballot in 2010.|
|Hawaii||Civil unions bill passed in state House in May 2009; will go to state Senate in Jan. 2010.|
|Nevada||Legislature passed in-all-but-name domestic partnerships in May 2009, overriding gubernatorial veto.|
|New Jersey||Commission recommended in Dec. 2008 that state allow same-sex marriage. General expectation is that it'll happen, but not sure how soon.|
|New York||Passed state House; Gov. Paterson has said he'll sign; awaiting sufficient votes to pass in state Senate (or possibly awaiting courage from state Senate leader Malcolm Smith).|
|Rhode Island||Last of the New England states, but unlikely to move forward until current governor (a member of NOM) leaves office in 2011.|
|Washington state||In-all-but-name domestic partnerships as of May 2009.|
|Washington, D.C.||City council decided to recognize same-sex marriages from elsewhere; expectation is that there'll be an attempt to provide same-sex marriage sometime soonish; US Congress may attempt to overturn either or both of those decisions.|
For more, see Wikipedia's state-by-state article, though that's lacking a lot of information about things in progress, and doesn't make it easy to know a given state's status at a glance unless you look at the map at the top of the article.
Anyway. My point was really meant to be that this is all pretty exciting, and for once I'm glad to be living in a time of rapid change. As you can see from the map in the state-by-state article, we've got a long way to go—but we've come an astonishingly long way in just the past few months, and I'm hopeful and confident that there'll be more progress in the coming year.