The New Hampshire State House today voted to approve gay marriage.

The bill, if passed, would make it the third US state to allow gay couples to marry.

It will now progress to the Senate.

Democratic governor John Lynch opposes gay marriage but has not yet indicated if he will veto the bill.

Lynch signed off legislation two years ago allowing gay couples to have civil partnerships which provided all the rights of marriage.

This week, Vermont signalled its willingness to introduce gay marriage.
However, governor Jim Douglas has announced his intention to veto the gay marriage bill if it passes the Legislature.

At a news conference yesterday, the Republican governor said that the state’s current civil partnership provision gave gay couples adequate rights and added that marriage should “remain between a man and a woman”.

“For those reasons and because I believe that by removing any uncertainty about my position we can move more quickly beyond this debate, I am announcing that I intend to veto this legislation when it reaches my desk,” he said.

The bill passed the Senate on a voice vote on Tuesday after winning preliminary approval there by a 26-4 roll call vote a day earlier. It is expected to come before the full House for a vote at the end of next week.