On the Ground in N.H. - Gov. Lynch Signs Marriage Equality Bill

It was a historic day today in New Hampshire!

After weeks of back-and-forth between the Governor’s office and the state legislature, the Granite State today became the 6th state to extend full marriage equality to same-sex couples.

To recap, the New Hampshire state House and Senate passed legislation extending full marriage equality to same-sex couples two weeks ago. Gov. John Lynch stated that he would exercise his power of veto if revised wording was not adopted to outline the rights of religious institutions. With the revisions set, the bill was voted on again by the NH legislature and signed into law by the governor today – it will go into effect in January 2010.

Mo Baxley, Executive Director of NH Freedom to Marry, and Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson in Gov. Lynch's office.

Executive Director Mo Baxley of N.H. Freedom to Marry, and Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson in Gov. John Lynch's office.

In my role as Senior Media Field Strategist for GLAAD, I traveled to New Hampshire to support the media and communications outreach work of local and state community leaders. I’ve been in the state capitol of Concord for the last week, lending a hand with media work here on the ground, and we’ve been very busy.

We’ve been working closely with local groups here – especially the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition – on their communications planning and media outreach, helping to navigate the day-to-day logistics of the media aspects of their work.

Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson and others talking in N.H. governor's office.

Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson and others talking in N.H. governor's office.

I also reached out to the blogosphere with some great results - with Pam's House Blend and BlueNewHampshire.com covering developments around the legislation closely.

We teamed up with the folks at New Hampshire Freedom to Marry to develop a comprehensive communications plan for the "Day of Action.” The rally, which took place this morning, was an important way to show solidarity among LGBT people and our allies in local media on the day of the vote. We also hammered out the logistics and cemented our statements for our press event for the "Day of Action".

N.H. Gov. John Lynch signing the marriage equality bill.

N.H. Gov. John Lynch signing the marriage equality bill.

We’re especially grateful to have had such strong leaders like Mo Baxley, executive director of the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition, who has been leading efforts here.

As the celebrations get underway here in the Granite state, I would like to send out a thank you to all the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry staff and volunteers. Congratulations and good luck to the couples who will soon be able to marry in the Granite State!