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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.

Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee Marriage Bill Hearing 2013

GLAD is part of a broad coalition of LGBT advocates, clergy members, labor organizations, and civil rights leaders dedicated to achieving marriage equality in Rhode Island in 2013 - Rhode Islanders United for Marriage.

“GLAD is proud to take an active part in this history-making effort,” says Janson Wu, GLAD staff attorney.  “We’re convinced that this year Rhode Island will join the other New England states in leading the nation toward marriage equality for all.”

Legislative leaders have committed to advancing the bill and grassroots supporters are already taking action across the state.

A House Judiciary Committee hearing on the marriage equality bill, HB 5015, will take place at the rise of the House on Tuesday January 15.  Wu will present testimony on behalf of GLAD. His written testimony is available here.

The Way Life Should Be: Marriage Equality in Maine

Maine family

Update, July 31, 2009: Anti-equality organizers have filed signatures with the Secretary of State.
Read a statement from No on 1/Protect Equality.

The support of all Mainers who believe in equality is crucial to protecting the hard-won right to marriage for all Maine citizens. To get involved in the campaign, visit No On 1/Protect Equality today.

Equality opponents in Maine have launched a campaign to subject marriage equality to a “people’s veto”.  Opposition leaders have indicated the campaign’s aim is to put the question on the November 3 ballot, meaning they must gather 55,087 signatures and submit them to the Secretary of State by August 1.  They have contracted with Schubert Flint Public Affairs group, the California based PR firm that lead the successful Prop 8 ballot initiative that stripped same-sex couples in California of the right to marry, to help them accomplish their goal.

But pro-equality advocates are organized and ready to fight to protect marriage rights for all Mainers. Maine Freedom to Marry is a unified campaign bringing together the field organization and mobilization skills of EqualityMaine, the legal expertise of GLAD, and the public outreach capacity of the Maine Civil Liberties Union. To spearhead the anti-referendum campaign, Maine Freedom to Marry has hired Jesse Connolly, who lead the successful 2005 “Maine Won’t Discriminate” campaign where a significant majority of Mainers voted to keep sexual orientation in the state’s non-discrimination policy.

Get involved.

Video: Why Marriage Matters

Protecting Our Children: Marriage Equality in Maine

 

Fairness and Respect: The Heart of Who We Are in Maine

Read more about the progress of marriage equality across New England.

Marriage Equality Hearing in Maine April 22

Thousands of people turned out for the public hearing on the Maine marriage equality bill on April 22 at the Augusta Civic Center.

Read GLAD Civil Rights Project Director Mary Bonauto’s Testimony.

GLAD posted updates on testimony at the hearing on Twitter.

Watch the video: Fairness and Respect - The Heart of Who We Are in Maine.

Visit the Maine Freedom to Marry Coalition website for more information.

Read the fact sheet - Massachusetts, Marriage Equality, and Schools: A Fact Sheet for Marriage Equality Supporters

In the News:

Portland Press Herald
: Nearly 4,000 Turn Out for Hearing on Same-Sex Marriage

Portland Press Herald Editorial: No Time for Compromise on Same-Sex Marriage

See additional media coverage

 

NH Marriage Equality Legislation Resources

The legislature took its final action to approve the marriage equality bill on May 6, and now it moves to Governor Lynch’s desk. 

We congratulate the House and the Senate for listening to the majority of New Hampshire residents, who support full equality for the state’s gay and lesbian citizens.  We thank the legislators who provided leadership, and the couples who courageously told their stories.

Now that the fate of marriage equality is in the governor’s hands, we hope he is listening, too.  Please call him at (603) 271-2121 and urge him to take the side of history and fairness, and sign the bill.  Please contact him today!

 

 

Download the information packet on HB 436

Read the text of the bill here

Concord Monitor: Editorial - Pass Gay Marriage Bill and End Discrimination

GLAD Testifies in Support of Marriage Equality in New Hampshire

GLAD Attorney Janson Wu appeared before the New Hampshire House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, February 5, 2009, in support of House Bill 436, “An Act Relating to Civil Marriage and Civil Unions.” Wu also presented testimony in opposition to House Bill 453, which seeks to take away the legal protections currently granted to same-sex couples by New Hampshire’s civil union law, and House Bill 147, which would forbid recognition as a civil union in New Hampshire of any legal marriage entered into by a same-sex couple in another state.

Read the testimony

Equality on the Ballot

November 4 will be a day of significance for LGBT people all over the country – not only because of the enormity of the presidential choice.  Four states – California, Connecticut, Florida and Arizona – have questions about marriage equality on the ballot, and their outcome - particularly that in California - could set the marriage movement either forward or backward.  State and national LGBT organizations, including GLAD, are uniting to support these critical state-level battles.

California

All eyes are on California’s high-profile battle over Proposition 8, which seeks to eliminate the right of gay and lesbian Californians to marry.  Same-sex couples have been marrying on the West Coast since June, when the state’s highest court issued a strong decision making California the second state – after Massachusetts – where marriage equality is the law of the land.

Because California is such an important state – politically, population-wise, and symbolically – anti-gay foes are pulling out all the stops.  Because people around the country stepped up and helped Massachusetts defend marriage equality, and because it’s so important, GLAD is doing its part for California. 

At our Summer Party, we raised $34,000 for Equality for All, thanks to a generous match from Scott Davenport.  GLAD’s Board of Directors voted to contribute an additional $25,000 and we are jointly signing a fundraising letter with the other national LGBT organizations

Polls are showing that this battle is extremely close. But it is winnable if our side can raise enough money to put and keep advertisements on the air.  GLAD is urging everyone to consider making a contribution by visiting http://noonprop8.com/home—and also to make sure all your Californian family and friends are voting the right way in November.

Connecticut

Every twenty years, Connecticut’s ballot includes the question: “Shall there be a Constitutional Convention to amend or revise the Constitution of the state?” 2008 is such a year. The Connecticut’s Supreme Court, issuing a decision October 10 in GLAD’s marriage case, Kerrigan & Mock v. Department of Public Health, has ruled that gay and lesbian couples in the state are entitled to nothing less than full marriage equality. As a result, those urging voters to vote “yes” on a Constitutional Convention are animated in large part by anti-gay forces, because it would give them another chance to thwart marriage equality.  GLAD is playing a key role in a coalition of progressive organizations called Connecticut Vote No, serving on the steering committee, setting strategy, and contributing financially.

We urge everyone, especially Connecticut residents, to visit the website http://www.ctvoteno.org where you can learn about the question, add your name to a list of those who will vote “no” and make a contribution.  We have all worked too hard for marriage equality to let it slip away!

Florida

Florida does not have marriage equality – but it does have an anti-marriage equality question, in the form of a constitutional amendment, on November’s ballot.  Florida, however, is the only state in the country which requires that 60% of those voting approve the amendment in order for it to pass. Pro-equality forces, led by the SayNo2 campaign, are optimistic that they can block the amendment, given sufficient support.

According to Elliot Williams of SayNo2, “Every dollar we raise will go toward buying more media time, which will be the key to victory.”  GLAD encourages our supporters to visit http://www.sayno2.com to learn more about the question and make a contribution.  And don’t forget to urge Florida family and friends – parents, anyone? – to vote no.  To have such a win in a “non-blue” state would make a huge statement – and help our friends in Florida move toward full equality.

Arizona

Proposition 102 represents the second time that voters in Arizona will vote on barring gay people from marrying. The anti-gay measure was defeated in 2006 in part because it appeared that it would also harm straight senior citizens.  That vote gave Arizona the distinction of being the only state in the nation to reject an anti-marriage equality constitutional amendment.

But this time, the target is clear: the proposed amendment to the Arizona Constitution would define marriage as a union solely between a man and a woman, and would prohibit the state from creating or recognizing any legal status for unmarried persons that is similar to that of marriage.

The Arizona Together coalition is fighting the measure.  To find out how to support their campaign, visit http://www.aztogether.org.

If the voters reject all four of these questions, it will build momentum and send an important message on how far the country has moved toward equality.  Please consider supporting any one of these campaigns and please spread the word.

GLAD and Marriage Equality Rhode Island

GLAD continues to work with our partner Marriage Equality Rhode Island (MERI) to advance an affirmative marriage equality bill and to build a set of legal protections for same-sex couples through legislation.

The 2008 legislative platform includes:

Compassion for All Families Ac
t –  would give domestic partners the spousal benefits of family medical leave, nursing home visitation, and funeral planning
Equal Divorce – would allow same-sex couples married outside of Rhode Island to divorce in Rhode Island courts
Equal Marriage – would allow all Rhode Island couples the equal freedom to marry

For more information, visit Marriage Equality Rhode Island.

GLAD Cheers Defeat of Anti-Gay, Anti-Marriage Equality Measure

The Massachusetts Legislature voted 151 - 45 to defeat an anti-gay, anti-marriage equality amendment. With today’s vote, the equality GLAD won in the Goodridge decision stands safe in Massachusetts.

Read GLAD’s press release

New Hampshire Rejects Anti-Marriage Equality Amendment

The New Hampshire House voted overwhelmingly to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. GLAD worked closely with New Hampshire Freedom to Marry to mobilize and educate citizens and legislators about the potential harms of such an amendment.  Lawmakers voted 207-125 against the amendment, which would have defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

Testimony and Reports from the NH Commission on Civil Rights

Testimony and Reports from the NH Commission on the Civil Rights, Responsibilities, Laws and Legal Obligations Related to Same-Sex Unions

Entire Minority Report [pdf]
GLAD’s Testimony [pdf]
Professor Barbara Cox Testimony [pdf]
Dr. Marshall Forstein Testimony [pdf] and Attachments [pdf] [14 MB]
Dr. Ellen Perrin Testimony [pdf]
Economist Lee Badgett Testimony [pdf]
Professor Nancy Cott Testimony [pdf]
Steve Varnum Testimony [pdf]
Susan Hassan, Esq. Testimony [pdf]