Gay Primary Source

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Gay Marriage a Reality in New Hampshire

"Beginning on New Year's Day, January 1, 2010, at 12:01 AM, New Hampshire will have marriage equality within our laws for all of our citizens. I have expressed my thanks in the past months to so many people in and out of government who have made that day possible. At the moment that House Bill 436 becomes effective, it will have been the result of twenty, even thirty years of advocacy for equality by many people throughout New Hampshire -- thousands of people, some whom are no longer with us except in spirit -- who have brought us to this point. And as we all know, work still needs to be done. Writers and bloggers on contributed greatly to the success of HB 436. On the dark days when the votes were too close, or when the bill stumbled, BlueHampshire hampsters came to the front. Beginning on March 18th, we had 14 core votes on the bill in the House and Senate: an initial House Judiciary Committee vote of 10-10, a House floor defeat a week later of 182-183, followed minutes later by a victory of 186-179, then a Senate Judiciary Committee vote of 2-3, followed by a Senate floor vote of 13-11, and numerous other close votes followed on related "religious protection" bills. But we won despite our opponents putting up every parliamentary roadblock they could think of. On this issue, every supporter made a difference along the way. There are many heroes of marriage equality. I do try to keep my Blogposts non-personal - but on a personal note, although I haven't talked about him much in recent years except to a few people, I've been thinking a lot during the past few weeks about my longtime partner, Darryl. He died after an auto accident two days after our 10th Anniversary. It was quite some years ago, so the good memories remain. I'm pretty good at visualization, so I felt that Darryl was next to me when I was standing behind Governor John Lynch as he signed HB 437, the Civil Unions bill, on May 31, 2007. And I also felt Darryl standing with us as the Governor signed HB 436, marriage equality, on June 3rd of this year. He had a wonderful smile that day. I'm fighting off a cold right now, but at the moment I'm hoping to be at the State House on New Year's Eve. Wherever I am at that minute just past midnight, or if I'm there in the audience looking up at the ceremonies of several couples being married, in my mind Darryl will be there with me. We'll be holding hands. I know we would have been among the first to be married if he was still here -- we often joked that we were married long before it seemed possible. We'll be together again eventually, but that moment of 01/01/10 - 12:01 AM will bring a special smile to me. And for that, I offer a very special thank you to everyone who helped make this possible -- for the dialogue, for the passage of marriage equality, and for your acceptance." New Hampshire Rep. Jim Splaine, December 30, 2009.

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