NH gay couples to start New Year with wedding vows

Posted Dec. 31, 2009, at 4:54 a.m.

FRANCONIA, N.H. — Jeffry Burr and Neil Blair took advantage of New Hampshire’s civil union law the minute it took effect last year. But they aren’t rushing to exchange wedding vows at 12:01 a.m. Friday, when the state becomes the fifth to legalize gay marriage.

They plan to wait for a more civilized time to get married — 2 p.m. It will be the third time they’ve exchanged vows.

They first committed to each other before 75 relatives and friends in June 2006 in a ceremony that didn’t even count under New Hampshire law.

They say their marriage ceremony is more about pronouncing their civil equality than restating their commitment to each other.

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The marriage law grants no new rights to gays but eliminates the separate status for civil unions.

Gay marriage also is recognized in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts and Vermont.

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