Posted Apr 26, 2007 07:32 pm CDT
The New Hampshire legislature approved civil unions for same-sex couples today, the anniversary of when the first such bill in the country was signed into law seven years ago by the governor of Vermont. Unlike Vermont, however, New Hampshire was not prompted to do so by a court ruling.
The New Hampshire governor has promised to sign the bill, and a spokesman for his office said today that the legislation is “a matter of conscience, fairness and of preventing discrimination,” in keeping with the state’s “proud tradition of preventing discrimination,” reports the AP.
In addition to Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey also authorize civil unions. In 2004, Massachusetts became the only state to authorize same-sex marriage. Five other states recognize domestic partnerships, and New York’s governor pledged this week to introduce legislation in his state authorizing same-sex marriage. See this New York Times story for more details.
For more about the New Hampshire legislation, see this Reuters story from last week.
For details about the groundbreaking Vermont legislation, see this earlier ABAJournal.com post.