ACLU of Massachusetts Welcomes New Hampshire Civil Unions Law

April 27, 2007 12:00 am

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BOSTON – Today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts welcomed passage of legislation in New Hampshire to provide the option of civil unions for lesbian and gay couples, with important rights, benefits and protections at the state level.

“While we believe that civil unions are only a step toward the ultimate goal of marriage equality, it is heartening to see another state recognize that lesbian and gay couples need ways to protect one another and their families,” said Carol Rose, Executive Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts.

The New Hampshire Senate voted 14-10 on Thursday in favor of civil unions. New Hampshire’s House of Representatives had already passed a companion measure, and Gov. John Lynch has pledged to sign it. New Hampshire is the fourth state to provide civil unions, along with Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey. Maine, Hawaii, California and the District of Columbia also offer some legal protections for lesbian and gay couples.

“The fact that three of our neighboring states now offer civil unions shows how important it is for us to stop the proposed constitutional amendment that would end marriage equality in Massachusetts,” said Rose. “It would be terrible for Massachusetts to move backward while our neighbors move forward.”

“The ACLU of Massachusetts is proud that our commonwealth led the nation with marriage equality, which puts all couples and their families on the same footing. We oppose voting on the proposed constitutional amendment that would reverse that pioneering move. It’s simply wrong to vote on whether or not to take anyone’s rights away, and no one’s marriage should be put to a popular vote.”

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