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NH’s "Same Sex Marriage" Law "Discriminates" Against Polygamy

Date: Jun 04, 2009
Word Count: 750 words
Cross-Reference: same sex marriage, New Hampshire, "discrimination"


Contrary to its supporters' claims, New Hampshire's new same sex marriage law does not provide "equal access to marriage for all." While even surprisingly codifying marriage for monogamous heterosexual minors, the new law intentionally "discriminates" against polygamous consenting adults. 

On   June   3,   2009,   the   State   of   New   Hampshire   became   the   sixth   U.S.   State   to   codify   the   legal   construct   of   same   sex   marriage,   enacting   "HB   436,   An   Act   relative   to   civil   marriage   and   civil   unions." 
 
The   "gay,   lesbian,   bisexual,   and   transgendered"   (GLBT)   community   hailed   the   new   law   as   a   civil   rights   victory.     Declaring   that   the   new   law   advances   fairness   and   equality   for   all,   they   proclaimed   that   New   Hampshire   had   supposedly   "ended   discrimination"   for   everyone. 
 
But   the   law   did   no   such   thing.     Rather,   it   intentionally   "discriminates"   against   consenting   adult   polygamists   -   indeed,   on   purpose. 
 
Previously,   New   Hampshire's   RSA   457:1   and   457:2   established   a   combined   anti-incest   and   anti-homosexual   prohibition.     "RSA   457:1   Marriages   Prohibited;   Men"   banned   a   man   from   marrying   a   relative   or   another   man.     Likewise,   "RSA   457:2   Marriages   Prohibited;   Women"   prohibited   a   woman   from   marrying   a   relative   or   another   woman.     Banning   only   incestuous   and   same   sex   marriages,   neither   of   the   former   statutory   paragraphs   mentioned   polygamy   at   all. 
 
The   new   law   (HB   436),   however,   completely   changed   the   "man-only"   applicability   of   RSA   457:1   by   replacing   it,   instead,   with   the   new   re-definition   of   marriage   as   "2   individuals,"   "2   people,"   "regardless   of   gender."     It   was   divided   into   two   paragraphs,   457:1   and   457:1-a. 
 
The   new   "457:1   Purpose   and   Intent"   paragraph   now   declares,   "The   purpose   of   this   chapter   is   to   affirm   the   right   of   2   individuals   desiring   to   marry   and   who   otherwise   meet   the   eligibility   requirements   of   this   chapter   to   have   their   marriage   solemnized   in   a   religious   or   civil   ceremony   in   accordance   with   the   provisions   of   this   chapter." 
 
The   newly   added   "457:1-a   Equal   Access   to   Marriage"   paragraph   declares,   "Marriage   is   the   legally   recognized   union   of   2   people.     Any   person   who   otherwise   meets   the   eligibility   requirements   of   this   chapter   may   marry   any   other   eligible   person   regardless   of   gender.   Each   party   to   a   marriage   shall   be   designated   'bride,'   'groom,'   or   'spouse.'" 
 
HB   436   also   completely   changed   the   "woman-only"   applicability   of   RSA   457:2,   making   it   the   combined   "Marriages   Prohibited"   paragraph.     The   new   RSA   457:2   combined   only   the   anti-incest   prohibitions   from   the   original   457:1   and   457:2   -   while   not   listing   the   former   same   gender   prohibitions.     However,   the   new   law   then   took   the   matter   further,   with   intentional   "discrimination."     The   new   RSA   457:2   now   ends   with   a   newly   added   anti-polygamy   provision. 
 
To   wit,   the   new   "457:2   Marriages   Prohibited"   now   declares,   "No   person   shall   marry   his   or   her   father,   mother,   father's   brother,   father's   sister,   mother's   brother,   mother's   sister,   son,   daughter,   brother,   sister,   son's   son,   son's   daughter,   daughter's   son,   daughter's   daughter,   brother's   son,   brother's   daughter,   sister's   son,   sister's   daughter,   father's   brother's   son,   father's   brother's   daughter,   mother's   brother's   son,   mother's   brother's   daughter,   father's   sister's   son,   father's   sister's   daughter,   mother's   sister’s   son,   or   mother's   sister's   daughter.   No   person   shall   be   allowed   to   be   married   to   more   than   one   person   at   any   given   time." 
 
The   very   last   sentence   there   was   completely   new.     Same   sex   marriage   supporters   had   intentionally   changed   the   combined   anti-incest   and   anti-gay-marriage   ban   into   a   combined   anti-incest   and   anti-polygamy   ban   instead.     They   intentionally   re-directed   the   law   to   purposely   "discriminate"   against   consenting   adult   polygamists   -   the   clearly   known   bigotry   of   equating   consenting   adult   polygamy   with   the   biological   dysfunction   of   incest. 
 
The   matter   gets   worse.     After   purposely   "discriminating"   against   consenting   adult   polygamists,   the   new   law   startlingly   then   allows   for   under-aged   heterosexual   marriage   while   it   bans   under-aged   same   sex   marriage. 
 
Previously,   the   "RSA   457:4   Marriageable"   paragraph   had   declared,   "No   male   below   the   age   of   14   years   and   no   female   below   the   age   of   13   years   shall   be   capable   of   contracting   a   valid   marriage,   and   all   marriages   contracted   by   such   persons   shall   be   null   and   void." 
 
To   replace   that   language,   the   new   law   (HB   436)   amended   "RSA   457:4   Marriageable"   to   now   declare,   "No   male   below   the   age   of   14   years   and   no   female   below   the   age   of   13   years   shall   be   capable   of   contracting   a   valid   marriage   that   is   entered   into   by   one   male   and   one   female,   and   all   marriages   contracted   by   such   persons   shall   be   null   and   void.   No   male   below   the   age   of   18   and   no   female   below   the   age   of   18   shall   be   capable   of   contracting   a   valid   marriage   between   persons   of   the   same   gender,   and   all   marriages   contracted   by   such   persons   shall   be   null   and   void." 
 
Thereby,   same   sex   marriage   activists   codified   marriage   for   under-aged   heterosexual   minors   while   simultaneously   "discriminating"   against   voting-age   consenting   adult   polygamists,   on   purpose. 
 
In   truth,   therefore,   New   Hampshire's   new   gay   marriage   law   does   not   end   "discrimination"   at   all.     It   absolutely   does   not   provide   "equal   access   to   marriage"   for   all.     Rather,   New   Hampshire's   new   same   sex   marriage   law   intentionally   "discriminates"   against   consenting   adult   polygamists. 


###


Bibliographic URLs:




Same-sex marriage becomes law in NH 
http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Same-sex+marriage+becomes+law+in+NH&articleId=ac4816e1-7ac9-4694-b89c-b6174c8b6a87 
 
 
New Hampshire Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage 
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/04/us/04marriage.html 
 
 
 
 
HB 436 - AN ACT relative to civil marriage and civil unions. 
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2009/HB0436.html 
 
HB 73 - AN ACT affirming religious freedom protections with regard to marriage and prohibiting the establishment of civil unions on or after January 1, 2010. 
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2009/HB0073.html 
 
 
 
New Hampshire Statutes - Table of Contents 
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/nhtoc.htm 
 
 
NH RSA CHAPTER 457: MARRIAGES 
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/NHTOC/NHTOC-XLIII-457.htm 
 
 
NH RSA 457:1 Marriages Prohibited; Men. 
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XLIII/457/457-1.htm 
 
 
NH RSA 457:2 Marriages Prohibited; Women. 
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XLIII/457/457-2.htm 
 
 
NH RSA 457:4 Marriageable. 
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XLIII/457/457-4.htm 
 
 
 
 
[Reviewed for publication - Pro-Polygamy.com Review Board.] 




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