Living the LGBT Life in New Hampshire

Posted on May 2, 2016 in Buying a Home

Are you thinking about moving to New Hampshire?  If you’ve contacted a gay or lesbian real estate agent in the area, you might have talked to them about buying property in New Hampshire.  The state may be one of the smallest in the union, but it’s also one of the most progressive as far in same-sex rights go.  While some states took years to remove their laws against same-sex sexual activity, New Hampshire got rid of those laws back in 1975.

Living the LGBT Life in New HampshireCivil unions also became an option for couples at the beginning of 2008 and provided many of the same rights and protections as marriages, as far as the state was concerned, although at the time they did not provide any of the marriage benefits recognized by the federal government. New Hampshire actually became the first state to recognize same-sex civil unions through a bill voted on through the state legislature and signed by the governor rather than from a court order or pressure from the courts.

The state later made same-sex legal on January 1, 2010.  However, New Hampshire does have one interesting, unique rule regarding same-sex marriage.  While state law sets the minimum age to enter into an opposite-sex marriage at 14 for males and 13 for females, it outlines that anyone entering into a same-sex marriage must be at least 18 years old regardless of gender.

As far as adoption right goes, anyone can adopt children following the repealing of a law that banned LGBT adoption back in 1999.  All laws regarding adoption apply equally to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

Protections

The state has protected people on the basis of sexual orientation in public and private employment, housing, and accommodations since 1998.  However, the state has no laws that protect individuals based on their gender identity.  A bill that would have added that protection failed to pass the state senate in 2009.  Since 1991, state law has also included sexual orientation in its hate crime laws.

As of April of 2016, a bill that will ban conversion therapy for minors who identify as LGBT is awaiting a vote by the state Senate.

LGBT Neighborhoods

There are a number of gay ghettos and neighborhoods in New Hampshire.  One of the most famous is in Manchester, sometimes called the Queen City.  Northeast Manchester is a popular gay and lesbian neighborhood that is quite safe and has a number of LGBT-owned stores and cafes.

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