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New Hampshire lawmakers move to repeal same-sex marriage

By Lauren Keiper

BOSTON (Reuters) - Some lawmakers in New Hampshire, one of only six states that allow same-sex marriage, moved on Wednesday to repeal the state law allowing gay nuptials.

An amendment passed by a House Judiciary subcommittee 3 to 1, alters a bill that in its original form banned both gay marriage and civil unions, said House spokeswoman Shannon Shutts.

The amended bill would allow civil unions but would define marriage as only between a man and a woman, said state Representative David Bates, a Republican and co-sponsor of the amendment.

It would allow existing same-sex marriages to be recognized.

New Hampshire is one of six states that allow same-sex marriage, along with Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New York and the District of Columbia.

New Hampshire's gay marriage law took effect on January 1, 2010. Democratic Governor John Lynch has said he would veto any bills to repeal it.

Legalization of gay marriage in New York less than two months ago, was widely seen as a boost to gay rights and momentum for passage in other states.

But New Hampshire has strong Republican majorities in both the House and Senate, and many Republicans are opposed to gay marriage.

Results of a WMUR Granite State Poll released in February showed 62 percent of respondents opposed repeal of the New Hampshire law.

The amended bill will be recommended to the full House Judiciary Committee next month and early next year to the House, Bates said.

If passed, it would eventually move on to the state Senate for a vote.

(Editing by Greg McCune)

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