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Archive for Friday, March 23, 2007

State bans gay marriage; N.H. moves toward it

March 23, 2007

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— South Carolina officially banned gay marriage Thursday as legislative leaders ratified a constitutional amendment approved by voters in November.

New Hampshire, meanwhile, moved in the opposite direction, with a state House panel endorsing the creation of civil unions for same-sex couples.

South Carolina was among eight states with gay marriage bans on the ballot last year. The measures passed everywhere except Arizona.

Nearly four out of five South Carolina voters approved the amendment, which reads, "A marriage between one man and one woman is the only lawful domestic union that shall be valid or recognized in this state."

Only Massachusetts allows gay couples to marry. Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey allow civil unions, and California has domestic partnerships that offer similar benefits.

In New Hampshire, the House Judiciary Committee recommended the passage of civil unions Thursday by a bipartisan 15-5 vote.

A vote by the full New Hampshire House is expected next week.

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