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.

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.