New Hampshire is now the 5th state to allow marriage equality

While couples
around the world rang in the New Year, lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender (LGBT) couples in New Hampshire also celebrated the
recognition of marriage equality. At 12:01 a.m. Friday, New
Hampshire’s law legalizing marriage equality took effect. More
than a dozen LGBT couples gathered at the state capital of Concord
in freezing temperatures to be the first to exchange

“What a great way celebrate
the New Year. This historic measure demonstrates that momentum for
full marriage equality continues to be on our side. As a parent, I
celebrate with all the New Hampshire families who have courageously
told their stories and changed the hearts, minds and votes needed
to make marriage equality a reality. The children of LGBT families
are finally receiving the recognition and respect they deserve.
Marriage equality is about protecting and valuing ALL families”
states Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director, Family Equality

New Hampshire Governor John
Lynch signed the marriage equality bill back in June after the bill
passed both the state’s Senate (14-10) and House

The law eliminates the
separate status for civil unions, which New Hampshire previously
recognized. Couples already in civil unions have three options to
convert their statuses to marriages. They can have marriage
ceremonies, file marriage paperwork with their town clerks to
convert their statuses during 2010, or wait until the unions are
automatically converted in 2011.