CommunityPam's House Blend

SC ratifies its marriage amendment, NH eyes civil unions, gay adoption

A study in contrasts. South Carolina already had a DOMA, but the wingnuts wanted to make sure the door was padlocked shut from those activist judges and put the civil rights of its gay citizens on the ballot. It passed last November and was ratified today. (IHT):

South Carolina officially banned gay marriage Thursday as legislative leaders ratified a constitutional amendment approved by voters in November.

…Nearly four out of five South Carolina voters approved the amendment, which reads, “A marriage between one man and one woman is the only lawful domestic union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”

The state already had a law against same-sex marriages, but proponents said the amendment was needed to prevent judges from opening the door to civil unions, which offer gay couples the legal benefits of marriage but not the title.

Meanwhile, things are going in the other direction in New Hampshire…

In New Hampshire, the House Judiciary Committee recommended the passage of civil unions Thursday by a bipartisan 15-5 vote.

“I am very pleased that we have taken this step,” said one of the bill’s sponsors, Democratic Rep. Marlene DeChane, who is gay.

A vote by the full New Hampshire House is expected next week. The measure also must pass the Senate, where Republican Bob Clegg has proposed legislation for “contractual cohabitation” giving unmarried adults the same legal rights as married couples.

On Wednesday, the New Hampshire House endorsed a bill that would allow unmarried adults, gay or straight, to adopt children.

Under this bill, adults to qualify must share a residence, jointly own or rent a home and agree to split duties as parents.

Rep. Marilinda Garcia, R-Salem, said a male-female parental structure is best.

“This bill will raise the rights of adults in general and homosexual adults in particular over the rights of adopted children,” Garcia said.

…Rep. Daniel Itse, R-Fremont, said the debate is premature and he predicted the House later this spring would approve legislation that legalizes marriage or civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.

Hat tip, Herb.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding