New Hampshire Commission to Study All Aspects of Same Sex Civil Marriage and the Legal Equivalents Thereof, Whether Referred to as Civil Unions, Domestic Partnerships, or Otherwise
This commission was created by the New Hampshire legislature in 2004. It held extensive hearings and took testimony from expert witnesses as well as the public on all issues related to creating civil unions for same sex couples or legalize same-sex marriage.
After extensive work and deliberation, the commission issued the following major conclusions recommendations:
- “Marriage Matters. First, marriage matters and it matters a lot. Marriage is an important
social institution that has a number of interconnected purposes including the procreation
and protection of children.”
- “Genderless Marriage Is Not a Civil Rights Issue. Our second conclusion is that
declining to redefine marriage does not deny anyone’s civil rights.”
- “Genderless Marriage Is Not Good for New Hampshire. In light of the above
conclusions that marriage as defined between a man and a woman matters to New
Hampshire and is in the best interest of her children and society, and that refusing to
redefine marriage as genderless is not a civil rights issue, we are led to the further
conclusion that we should not adopt genderless marriage in New Hampshire.”
- “New Hampshire should adopt an Amendment to its Constitution Defining Marriage as the Union of a Man and a Woman. The Commission feels strongly that not only does marriage matter, but that the legislature and ultimately the people should have the final
say as to how the institution of marriage should be structured and defined. Unfortunately,
activist courts in other states have usurped the authority of the legislature with respect to
the definition of marriage. Legal experts testified of the risk that a court might mandate
- “Practical Resolutions of Specific Problems. Despite the Commission’s conclusions that
marriage should not be redefined to include same sex partners, the Commission
recognizes that our gay and lesbian citizens encounter problems or experience
inconvenience as a result of not being married to the partner with whom they have chosen to live. The Commission also recognizes that any assistance provided to gay and lesbian couples may well detract from the social preeminence reserved for marriage and that many of our citizens will oppose extending any benefits on that ground.”
Read the Executive Summary of the commission’s report here.
Read the entire report here.