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New Hampshire passes legislation to protect interracial marriage

Published Wednesday, May. 10th, 2023

Photo by Kampus Production

New Hampshire passes measure to protect interracial marriage



It’s official! Lawmakers in New Hampshire have passed a bill to codify protections for interracial marriage. Called ‘The Marital Freedom Act,' this measure amends the state’s ‘Equal Access to Marriage’ law to include protections for race.


Governor Sununu signed the legislation into law on May 4th. The amendment becomes effective 60 days after passage (July 3rd, 2023). 


Read the updated statute:


New Hampshire Revised Statutes 457:1-a  


Equal Access to Marriage.  Marriage is the legally recognized union of 2 people. Any person who otherwise meets the eligibility requirements of this chapter may marry any other eligible person regardless of gender or race. Each party to a marriage shall be designated "bride," "groom," or "spouse."



Although interracial marriage is already legal in New Hampshire (and across the U.S.), lawmakers there recognized the need to enact explicit protections for marriage rights at the state level, following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v Wade last year. 


Like Roe v Wade, the two rulings that protect interracial marriage (Loving v Virginia) and same-sex marriage (Obergefell v Hodges) at the federal level rely on the Court’s interpretation and application of the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. If the Court were to reverse it's opinion on these vital cases in the coming years, as it did with Roe v Wade, any state bans against interracial marriage or same-sex marriage still on the books would become enforceable. 


Related: What overturning Roe v Wade could mean for Marriage Equality


Couples who live in states that explicitly protect marriage equality would not be impacted, however – now including New Hampshire! Lawmakers in New Jersey also introduced legislation this year to protect interracial marriage, and similar legislation to guarantee same-sex marriage rights has been introduced in Indiana, Missouri, Virginia, and elsewhere. 







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Read How to Become a Wedding Officiant in New Hampshire


Conviértete en un Oficiante de Bodas en New Hampshire

Friends and family members can perform legal weddings in New Hampshire if they've been ordained online. Ordination with American Marriage Ministries is inclusive, free, easy, and fast. Click the link below to get started and learn how to officiate weddings today. 










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Photo shows a bride and groom standing together outdoors, holding up their hands to show off their new wedding rings. The bride wears a white dress and the groom is in a dark blue suit. There are trees in the background and the weather is sunny and warm.

Planning a New Hampshire wedding? This short guide will help -- from finding an officiant to completing the marriage license. Read the full article here. 



Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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