N.H. OKs Civil Unions, Sans Legal Pressure

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New Hampshire’s governor signed a law yesterday authorizing civil unions for same-sex couples.

The state is the fourth state to authorize civil unions and the first to do so without a court order or pending lawsuit, the New York Times reports. The newspaper identifies the other states that permit such unions as Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey.

The Associated Press also includes California, Maine and Washington in a list of states that allow either civil unions or domestic partnerships, and says Oregon will join the list in January. Only Massachusetts allows gay marriage.

The New Hampshire law takes effect Jan. 1 and gives those who join in civil unions all the “rights, responsibilities and obligations” of married couples, according to the Concord Monitor.

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