Congratuations New Hampshire

After some legislative showboating, New Hampshire adopted same-sex marriages earlier this week. This, again, was done through the democratic process, and substantial exceptions to non-discrimination laws were made concurrent with adoption of same-sex marriage, ostensibly so as to ensure that no religious or fraternal organizations are required to solemnize marriages contrary to their beliefs. The law takes effect January 1 of next year.

Timothy Kincaid at Box Turtle Bulletin points out that as of this week, more than a third of all Americans now live in jurisdictions that provide some level of official recognition to same-sex relationships:
In Kincaid’s chart, dark blue indicates full marriage rights, light blue indicates strong civil unions (called “domestic partnerships” in California and Nevada) with only trivial differences to marriage, yellow indicating weaker civil unions offering some, but not all, of the rights of marriage, and gray indicating recognition of same-sex marriages or civil unions performed elsewhere.

Note, though, that the bulk of the other states have statutory or state-constitutional prohibitions against same-sex marriage. Nineteen states, representing a nearly-identical percentage of the population, have constitutional amendments prohibiting not only same-sex marriage but also prohibiting any kind of same-sex civil union.

Rhode Island also recently enacted a very limited recognition of other civil unions, which should shift it into the “yellow” category on Kincaid’s chart. To add to the chart, then:

These laws can all be changed, but there’s still a lot of work to be done, and it will have to be done changing hearts and minds.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.