New Hampshire Legalizes Gay Marriage

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The governor of New Hampshire says it's now
time for the federal government to extend full equal rights to
same-sex couples.

New Hampshire became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage
Wednesday.

Gov. John Lynch - who personally opposes gay marriage - signed
the legislation after lawmakers agreed that churches and religious
groups would not be forced to officiate at gay marriages or provide
other services.

Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont and Iowa already
allow gay marriage, though opponents hope to overturn Maine's law
with a public vote.

California briefly allowed gay marriage before a public vote
banned it; a court ruling grandfathered in couples who were already
married.

The New Hampshire law will take effect Jan. 1, exactly two years
after the state began recognizing civil unions.


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