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Thursday, June 4, 2009

‘Six Down, Forty-Four to Go,’

Yes On Gay Marriage Director Says About New Hampshire Gay Marriage Legalization

CONCORD, N.H. – When New Hampshire Governor John Lynch signed a bill legalizing gay marriage yesterday, the Yes On Gay Marriage National Director called it another victory for gay marriage. “It’s six down and 44 to go,” Kelley Moran said with six states now recognizing same-sex marriages.

New Hampshire lawmakers passed the final legislation Wednesday with an amendment clarifying churches and church employees have the right to refuse to take part in same-sex marriages or celebrations. The legislation also recognizes gay marriages performed in other states.

The New Hampshire legislature and Governor Lynch demonstrated their commitment to equality for all citizens of their state in passing gay marriage,” Moran said. “They got it right and we laud their dedication to the American ideal of equality.”

Our goal at Yes On Gay Marriage is to support efforts in all 50 states to legalize gay marriage and to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA),” he said. “New Hampshire just joined the growing list of states that recognize separate is not equal. Legislators passed civil unions there in 2007 but realized those are not the same as marriage and wisely went back to the drawing boards to give same-sex couples the full rights, benefits, responsibilities and obligations their straight counterparts enjoyed.”

Yes On Gay Marriage’s main focus is to bring equity and equality to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders who want to marry, he said. “When a state or the federal government recognizes one group’s rights to the determent of others, that is a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment. I do not believe that is what the founders of this country had in mind when they penned the Constitution.

Moran said his organization is mounting efforts to battle same-sex marriage opponents’ efforts to repeal Maine’s gay marriage law passed in May. In addition, the organization is supporting the Washington D.C. Council’s recent recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states. Two U.S. Congressmen have introduced a bill to nullify the council’s action, he said.

What we are seeing is a grass roots movement throughout the country to legalize gay marriage,” Moran added, “and it is coming swiftly and with growing strength. Of course, with that surge come the oppositions’ efforts to deny us equal rights.”

The New Hampshire measure becomes law on Jan. 1, 2010, which will make that state the sixth to legalize gay marriage, joining Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut and Iowa.

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