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Attorney Janson Wu Testifies in Support of Repealing New Hampshire Reverse Evasion Law

GLAD Attorney Janson Wu is testifying today in New Hampshire in support of Senate Bill 394, which would repeal the state’s reverse evasion law and clarify the state’s recognition of out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples.

An Act Relative to the Recognition of Out of State Marriages, Uniform Marriage Recognition, Civil Union Recognition, and Gender Neutral References would repeal New Hampshire's reverse evasion law, enacted in 1979, which prohibits a non-resident couple from marrying in New Hampshire if their marriage would be "void" or "prohibited" in their home state. 

In his testimony, which can be read in full here, Wu statest that  "reverse evasion statutes have proved not only discriminatory, but worthless and unnecessary decades ago," and further, "while we believe the statute is unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable, it's continued existence threatens the validity of many marriages of out-of-state couples who come to New Hampshire to marry."

SB 394 also provides that any New Hampshire couple that was married in another state (such as Massachusetts) will have their marriage recognized from the date of solemnization, makes clear that even if a couple entered into a civil union in another state, they can also get married in New Hampshire with out first having to dissolve the civil union, and clarifies that all domestic-relations related statutes should apply equally to families regardless of the gender of the two parties.