- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The governor of New Hampshire - which recognized civil unions in 2008 and legalized gay marriage two years later - is celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling as an affirmation of the nation’s founding principle that “all individuals are created equal.”

Gov. Maggie Hassan said Friday she’s extremely proud that New Hampshire helped pave the way to “this truly historic day.” Last year, she signed a bill allowing gay couples living in states that don’t recognize gay marriage to come to New Hampshire and get married, with the marriage recognized by New Hampshire.

U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, a Democrat, said she applauds the Supreme Court “for standing up for the ideals this nation was founded on, and for ensuring that every American, regardless of his or her sexual orientation, has the legal right to marry in every state across the country.”

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a Republican, said while she believes in traditional marriage, “I respect the court’s decision and I believe New Hampshire’s legally married same-sex couples should be treated equally under the law no matter where they live.”

Cornerstone Action, the legislative advocacy arm of Cornerstone Policy Research, a nonprofit working to promote strong New Hampshire families, said redefining marriage to include same-sex partners “will only lead us to further cultural instability.”

The group also noted that 31 states have already voted to keep the definition of marriage as one man and one woman. “By disregarding this, the Supreme Court has overstepped its bounds,” it said in a statement.

Following the ruling, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, called on the Department of Veterans Affairs to immediately extend all benefits to same-sex veterans. She said the VA previously has been unable to grant comprehensive benefits to same-sex couples in states that do not recognize such legal marriages.

Earlier this year, Shaheen introduced The Charlie Morgan Act to ensure that all veterans receive the federal benefits they’ve earned, regardless of their state of residency. It is named after Morgan, a National Guard Chief Warrant officer who died in 2013 after a battle with breast cancer. After her passing, Morgan’s wife and daughter were initially ineligible to receive certain survivor benefits until the Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide