New Hampshire Legalizes Gay Marriage

New Hampshire Legalizes Gay Marriage


Number six is now official.


CONCORD, New Hampshire – New Hampshire became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage after the Senate and House passed key language on religious rights and Gov. John Lynch — who personally opposes gay marriage — signed the legislation Wednesday afternoon.

After rallies outside the Statehouse by both sides in the morning, the last of three bills in the package went to the Senate, which approved it 14-10 Wednesday afternoon.

Cheers from the gallery greeted the key vote in the House, which passed it 198-176. Surrounded by gay marriage supporters, Lynch signed the bill about an hour later.

The new law will take effect January 1, 2010, but already states are seeing an economic boost as a result…

The phones started ringing at the Timberholm Inn in Stowe, Vt., in April, as soon as lawmakers voted to override a gubernatorial veto and allow same-sex marriage in the state. “It doesn’t go into effect till Sept. 1, but people are thinking ahead,” says the inn’s co-owner, Susan Barnes. “We’ve got two same-sex weddings booked for October.” Those bookings are good news for Barnes, who says the gay-friendly inn takes in a “couple of thousand” dollars with every wedding it hosts. And they are part of the reason some same-sex-wedding advocates are now pointing out a new legalization angle: the economic payoff.

In the five years since legalizing same-sex marriage, Massachusetts has gained $111 million in spending from gay weddings, according to a new study published by UCLA’s Williams Institute, which studies sexual-orientation law and public policy. “That’s money buying flowers, hotels, caterers, hiring a band—all the things that go into a wedding,” explains M. V. Lee Badgett, a coauthor of the study.

Typically, same-sex couples spent about $7,400 per wedding, says Badgett, an economist who is also director of UMass Amherst’s Center for Public Policy & Administration, and one in 10 couples spent more than $20,000. And then there were the wedding guests: “We estimated that each same-sex couple was associated with $1,600 in hotel-occupancy tax revenue,” she says.

Next up: New York and New Jersey.

More as it develops…

  • Barry G. Wick

    And what gays would want to get married in a church that didn’t want to marry a gay couple…Ministers are always telling couples they won’t marry them…what’s new here? Nothing…but more homophobia. “OOOHHHH, they’re gonna force us to marry them!”
    Another bunch of fear mongering passed in otherwise fine legislation.

  • Debbie

    If people want to be gay, then that is there thing. Lot’s of gay people are very nice and caring people. However, marriage is for a MAN and a WOMAN. So if you want to be gay, that’s great! But don’t use the Lord’s combining of man and woman. Change your last names to be the same and leave it at that. Using gay marriage as an economic boost is way beyond CRAP!

  • Jeremy from NJ

    However, marriage is for a MAN and a WOMAN.

    Not in NH!

  • Kyle

    I heard that once gay people can get married all over the country, straight people won’t be allowed to anymore. That’s what we’re afraid of, right? *snicker*

  • the Word

    We are not a Christian nation and never were. Lots of Christians are nice and caring people. Others never got the God is Love message or the judge not lest ye be judged one.

  • rachel

    Debbie- Marriage the sacrament ≠ marriage the legal contract. The “Lord” is concerned with the first; the Law with the second. So kindly knock off the equivocation. It doesn’t help your cause.

  • Chris

    Fundies, or the new term for them – talibengelicals – can’t seem to figure out that marriage is a legal and civil term as well, not just religious. No one is going to force the catholic church to marry two men. man there are so many jokes I can make using that as a start. must…. control… impulse…