Attorney Polly Hall, a domestic attorney with our firm and I have been presenting talks around the State on the new Civil Union statute. Recently we did a presentation at a local university to discuss the statute that will go into effect January 1, 2008. It was well attended, and I think the people of New Hampshire are starting to really think about the new law and its impact on our state.
While the new law will give rights to civil union partners, it also comes with its drawbacks. Of note is the university's benefit program. I have been told that the university is thinking of treating same sex partners as they treat heterosexual partners. This means if a same sex couple is in a "domestic partnership," meaning they have not entered into a civil union, they will not be afforded the benefits of a couple joined in a legal union. Only same sex couples who enter into a civil union will be afforded benefits available to heterosexual married couples. As Attorney Hall and I discussed the new law, the audience began to understand the broad impact of the statute and I get the sense in the community that a lot of people will be watching to see how the new law impacts our State.