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June 04, 2009
New Hampshire Oks Gay Marriage

Under newly signed legislation, New Hampshire will join 5 others states in allowing same-sex couples to marry. The other states are Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

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On Wednesday, New Hampshire Governor John Lynch signed legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry in the state. The law becomes effective in January 2010.

The laws in Connecticut, Iowa, and Massachusetts are already effective, but Maine's law is effective mid-September 2009 and Vermont's law is effective September 1, 2009

While federal law still only recognizes marriage between a man and a woman, the states' legislation is significant for employers because of the host of benefits and tax breaks for married couples governed by state law.

“With the signing of this legislation today, New Hampshire will have taken every action possible to ensure that all families have equal rights to the extent that is possible under state law,” Lynch said. “Unfortunately, the federal government does not extend the same rights and protections that New Hampshire provides same-sex families, and that should change.”

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