Saturday, March 28, 2009

Gay Marriage Coming Soon to Vermont? New Hampshire?

New England continues to be center stage in the gay marriage debate.

Both Vermont and New Hampshire each have legislative proposals that were recently approved by one of their legislative bodies to legalize gay or same-sex marriage. See yesterday's New York Times article, Gay Marriage, Set Back in One State, Gains in a 2nd -

New Hampshire's House of Representatives just narrowly approved its gay marriage bill this past Thursday, and its Senate may consider a similar bill but prospects do not appear to be good in this more conservative-leaning state. Vermont's Senate overwhelmingly approved its own bill the Friday before last, and its House is already actively considering a similar proposal. But both states have governors who are likely to veto the bills if they come before them. Governor Jim Douglas of Vermont has already stated he will veto the Vermont bill if it comes to his desk.

Vermont was the first state to legalize gay and lesbian civil unions. New Hampshire only created civil unions this past year. If the other legislative bodies also approve the bills in each state, and then can override the probable vetoes by their governors, then we will see a further expansion of gay marriage in this region.

It would hardly be a surprise to see one of these New England states become the next to join Massachusetts and Connecticut, as the only states currently and fully santioning the legal formation of gay and lesbian marriages. My bet would be on Vermont. Maybe not this year, but eventually.

For information about Massachusetts divorce and family law, see the divorce and family law page of my law firm website.

No comments: