EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

November 15, 2009

NH gay marriage law challenged

With the defeat of same-sex marriage in Maine, all eyes are now turning toward the Granite State, where lawmakers anticipate a heated battle over the state's new gay marriage law in the upcoming legislative session.

As the new year rings in Jan. 1, many gay couples in New Hampshire will be heading to the altar on the first day same-sex marriages will be allowed in the state.

But two legislative proposals aim to overturn the new law. House members have filed requests to introduce a bill and a constitutional amendment that would repeal the measure shortly after it takes effect.

While lawmakers are already gearing up for the fight expected when the new legislative session begins in January, some gay couples are wary of what could happen at the Statehouse in Concord. An opportunity many thought they would never see may suddenly vanish.

For Kitty Cole and Nancy Richards of Hampstead, the first of the year is a date they have been anxiously awaiting for months, or at least since June 3 — the day Gov. John Lynch signed the state's new same-sex marriage law.

On Jan. 1, Cole and Richards are scheduled to marry after being together for 33 years.

"I don't really feel threatened by it," Cole said of the proposed repeals. "Just excited at what lies ahead. I never thought I would see any of this in my lifetime."

She said it's too bad Maine overturned its same-sex marriage law Nov. 3 — and it would be unfortunate if New Hampshire did the same.

"I just think it would be sad and unnecessary and ridiculous that people can't live their own lives," Cole said, noting the government shouldn't be telling people how they must live.

Legislature could undo what it just did

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