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Issue Watch: NH gay marriage

From NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli
In the interest of keeping people on their toes, here's something to keep an eye on in New Hampshire. At midnight tomorrow, civil unions for homosexual couples becomes law here. In fact, some folks plan to gather on the State House steps at midnight to exchange vows.

So far the candidates haven't made much of an issue of it here. Remember that at a UNH/Fox News debate on Sept. 5, Sam Brownback was asked about the subject, and when he stood up for an amendment to ban gay marriage, the audience reaction was a mixed bag of boos and applause. One of the debate watchers in the diner, albeit a state employee union member, said: "Absolutely not. We're the state of live free or die, and people should be able to marry the person they love."

Still, we're likely to see the candidates at the very least asked about it when they show up in the Granite State post-caucus, possibly in the two debates planned for the short 5-day gap.

Here's a roundup of some of the local newspaper coverage of the pending civil union period: The AP, The Union Leader (here, here and here), the Concord Monitor (here and here), Nashua Telegraph.