Manchester, NH —
New Hampshire today became the sixth state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage, after a bill was enacted by both the state House and Senate and then signed by Governor John Lynch.
Lynch, a Democrat, signed the bill into law at about 4:20 p.m. (CDT).
"Today we're standing up for the liberties of same-sex couples by making clear they will receive the same rights, responsibilities and respect under New Hampshire law," said Lynch surrounded by cheering supporters.
House members approved the bill that grants gay and lesbian couples the right to marry just hours after senators had agreed to it this morning.
The House endorsed the bill on a 198 to 176 vote. Senators embraced the bill with a stronger 14 to 10 vote that came down along party lines with all Democrats in support and all Republicans in opposition.
The bill includes the religious protections sought by Lynch.
New Hampshire becomes the sixth state to allow gay marriage and only the third state to legalize the institution legislatively, instead of by court order.
Legislation to allow same-sex marriage is also being considered in New York and New Jersey.
OnTopMag.com contributed to this report.