APNewsBreak: NH legislator: Return to civil unions
CONCORD, N.H.—The sponsor of a bill to repeal New Hampshire's gay marriage law proposed Tuesday to replace it with the civil unions law enacted in 2007 and putting a nonbinding question on the ballot asking voters if that is what they want.
State Rep. David Bates, a Windham Republican, told The Associated Press his proposal would repeal gay marriage effective March 31, 2013. He said if voters say they want to keep civil unions for homosexuals, gay marriage would be repealed. He said if voters object to repealing gay marriage, lawmakers would have time to stop the repeal from taking effect.
The civil unions law enacted in 2007 was considered by gay marriage supporters to be marriage in all but name. Bates' proposal is intended to return to that law by giving same-sex couples the contractual protections of marriage.
"From my perspective, this is not intended to be a substitute or mimic of marriage," he said.