Same sex marriage in New Hampshire

Lesbian wedding at the Highlands Inn

Wedding at the Highlands Inn, Bethlehem, NH

New Hampshire’s Marriage Equality law went into effect on January 1, 2010, legalizing same-sex marriage in the state of New Hampshire. As expected, some opponents have attempted to undermine the law. However, large majorities of the New Hampshire legislature and towns have responded by strongly supporting marriage equality. Same-sex marriage is definitely the law of the land in New Hampshire!

Lesbian couples who may be thinking about getting legally married will be interested to learn how easy the process is in New Hampshire. For one thing, you don’t have to be residents of New Hampshire or planning to become residents. Legal marriage is available to all adults who are not party to another marriage.

Basically, you will need just two things: 1) a marriage license and 2) a JP (Justice of the Peace) or clergy member to perform the ceremony.

Obtaining your marriage license: Same-gendered couples can now apply for a marriage license at any New Hampshire town or city clerk’s office. All couples whether same-gendered or differently-gendered will use the same application form.

Both members of the couple must appear in person. They must bring photo IDs and proof of age. If either or both are divorced or widowed, they must also bring a copy of their final divorce decree and/or spouse’s death record. When the application is complete, the clerk will prepare the license, which is valid for not more than 90 days. Unlike some other jurisdictions, there is no waiting period to receive your license. The license fee is $45, payable to the town clerk when you apply for the license.

Planning your wedding ceremony: After obtaining the license, you will need to have the marriage certified in a ceremony performed by either a New Hampshire Justice of the Peace (JP) or clergy member. You will need to make arrangements with a JP or clergy member to perform the ceremony, and you may want to spend some time talking with this person about what you would like your ceremony to include.

One of the most romantic places for lesbians to celebrate their commitment is at the Highlands Inn in Bethlehem, NH.

From a recently married couple:

“We wanted to thank you and your staff for such a memorable and amazing Valentine’s Day weekend…. it was such a pleasure to get married at such a romantic place… the ceremony was everything I ever dreamed it would be. Thank you for giving us memories to last a lifetime! We look forward to seeing y’all again in the future. Thanks again!” Belinda & Veronica, Texas

The Highlands Inn is one of very few inns or resorts dedicated to serving the lesbian community, and is located in a state where lesbian couples can be legally married. The inn held its first commitment ceremony in 1985. Since then, hundreds of couples have had civil union and commitment ceremonies at the Inn. And now that marriage is legal in New Hampshire, the inn is hosting several marriage ceremonies each month. Of course most couples stay on for their honeymoon!

For more information, contact The Highlands Inn, Box 118, Bethlehem, NH 03574; vacation@highlandsinn-nh.com;  877-LES-B-INN (537-2466).

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