Civil Unions in New Hampshire

The Washington Post is reporting
that New Hampshire is about to institute civil unions for gay couples.
No word on how these civil unions differ from marriage, but there were
some interesting bits in the article:

Advocates of gay rights say the latest milestone is especially significant because it comes in comparatively conservative New Hampshire, where polls have shown locals becoming more tolerant of same-sex unions after watching neighboring states pass similar laws without major social fallout.

“I just don’t think it’s a major issue anymore,” said Jim Lupien, 40, a lifelong Republican and owner of the Cool Moose Creamery & Candy Store on Concord’s old-style Main Street. “Vermont did it, and then Massachusetts, and people around here just started thinking, ‘Okay, what’s the big deal?’ I’m not pro-gay, but that’s no reason to deny them their rights.”

which is pretty much what I’ve been saying all along.

Also interesting are the comments by those who still think the number
of tuxes should equal the number of bridal gowns:

Nevertheless, opponents of same-sex marriage look at what is going on in New England and express growing concern. “The more states that do this, the less radical and more plausible the idea may appear in others,” said Peter Sprigg, vice president for policy at the Family Research Council.

Damn right, the idea may appear less radical. And this would be a bad thing because…?

The Catholic Church and other religious groups have come out against the legislation, arguing that it effectively sanctions homosexuality, to which they are opposed.

The article doesn’t say why the Catholic church is opposed to
teh gay (officially, at least). But of course, this is the same group
that thinks that a cookie turns into God when you eat it, and feels
that it is vitally important that a woman had a child without ever
having sex, so how seriously can you take their opinions?

A more interesting objection is this one:

But much of the political opposition has instead focused on what some feel is a “gay exclusive” law that should be expanded to include other types of same-sex couples.</p

“We haven’t really gotten into the morality of the argument,” said Republican state Rep. Maureen C. Mooney, an outspoken critic of the bill. “What I’m opposed to is carving out a chapter in our laws for a special interest group. Why can’t two sisters enjoy these rights, or a boyfriend and girlfriend who don’t want to get married?”

Those are good questions. Why can’t they? Why shouldn’t they?

One thought on “Civil Unions in New Hampshire”

  1. I grew up in NH and when I saw this, it blew my mind. This is patently NOT the NH I knew back in the day when it was a haven for John Birchers and fluoride conspiracy theorists and anti-Communist Joe McCarthy cultists. What on earth has happened up there? This bill is sensible, tolerant, and at least somewhat progressive, and the usual right-wing fruitcakes who were so common then aren’t screaming bloody murder or threatening civil war? I’m dumbfounded.


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