Fifty-four gay couples married in New
Hampshire on New Years Day, the first day of legal gay marriage in
the state, On Top Magazine has learned.
According to statistics compiled by the
state's Division of Vital Records, 37 lesbian couples and 17 gay
couples rang in the new year while trading marriage vows.
Most of the marriages performed were
conversions from civil unions. Only 10 couples had not previously
entered a New Hampshire civil union.
In an email, Stephen Wurtz, acting
director of the state's Division of Vital Records, said the state has
recognized 809 gay couples in the past 24 months since a civil unions
law went into effect. In its first month, January 2008, 174 gay
couples tied the knot, but since then the number has steadily
decreased, with only195 civil union licenses issued in 2009.
As of December 31, the state no longer
offers gay couples the right to enter a civil union. Couples
previously joined with a civil union can apply for a conversion to
marriage or a new marriage license, but all civil unions will
automatically convert to marriages on January 1, 2011.
New Hampshire joins Iowa, Connecticut,
Massachusetts, and Vermont in legalizing gay marriage. Lawmakers in
the District of Columbia have approved a gay marriage law expected to
take effect in February.
Lawmakers in New
Jersey are expected to take a make-or-break vote on a gay marriage