On the heels of two gay marriage wins,
the New Hampshire Senate prepares to take up the issue.
New Hampshire Representative Jim
Splaine's bill that seeks to grant gay and lesbian couples the right
to marry narrowly won approval by the House late last month. Members
voted 186 to 179 to send the bill to the Senate.
A Senate committee looking into the
issue is scheduled to convene on Wednesday, but the bill's chances of
passage in the Democrat-led Senate remain nebulous. Governor John
Lynch, a Democrat, has said he opposes gay marriage but has remained
quiet on whether he would veto the measure should it reach his desk.
In recent weeks, Vermont became the
first U.S. state to legalize gay marriage legislatively, instead of
by court order. And the Iowa Supreme Court overturned a gay marriage
ban in an unanimous decision.
Whether these recent gay marriage wins
– especially the decisive language used by the seven Iowa justices
– have any influence on Senators in New Hampshire remains to be
Two years ago, lawmakers in the state
approved civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. That bill was
also introduced by openly gay Democrat Splaine.
Four states, mostly in New England,
offer gay marriage: Iowa, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut.