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New Hampshire Moves Towards Civil Unions

Cross posted at Bloggernista

The gays in New Hampshire and those that of us that love them may be celebrating soon. Its expected that the state senate will pass a civil union bill that has already passed the House. Governor John has said that he will sign the bill into law.

From the Washington Post:

Supporters and opponents of the measure agree that it will be approved, and last week Gov. John Lynch, a moderate Democrat, said he will sign it. When he does, it will make New England the first region to have every state granting a measure of legal rights to same-sex couples. Even as the bulk of the country has passed constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage and civil unions, New England has stubbornly gone its own way.

This is key because New Hampshire is probably the most conservative state in New England and polls are showing that residents of the state are becoming more and more supportive of equality for LGBT people. Civil unions is not true equality, but its a definite step towards marriage.

This development is also important because it shows how smart the Human Rights Campaign’s 2006 electoral strategy was.

From the Boston Globe:

The organization was most active in New Hampshire, donating a total of $135,000 to Democratic state Senate candidates. A staff member for the gay rights group served as the get-out-the-vote director for the Senate Democratic caucus and worked with party officials for a statewide plan to get voters to the polls.
At the HRC’s urging, state Democratic party officials — who had been planning just a volunteer phone bank and poll-watching campaign — paid workers to call voters, knock on doors, and get them to the voting station, according to HRC and party officials.

And similar efforts in partnership with activists in Iowa and Oregon are paying off as well. In both states non-discrimination bills were passed this year. In Iowa, a safe schools bill has also become law.

Kudos to the fine activists in New Hampshire who have been working on this and other issues for years. Your work is continuing to pay off.

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