Efforts to roll back the US state of New Hampshire’s recent gay marriage law have been defeated.

Gay marriage became legal in the state on January 1st but conservative Republicans quickly announced plans to seek repeal.

They introduced two measures: a bill to repeal both gay marriage and the state’s 2007 civil unions law, and a resolution seeking a constitutional amendment to restrict marriage to one man and one woman.

The first was defeated in the House by 210-109 and the second by 201-135.

Opponents hoped to capitalise on the fact that gay marriage rights in the US have never been granted by voters, and 31 states have constitutional bans on gay marriage.

According to the Union-Leader, the bill’s main sponsor Al Baldasaro argued that the state should not concede to gay couples.

“Homosexuals can change their sexual preference at any time,” he argued.

Co-sponsor Jordon Ulery said: “This is absolutely not an issue of equal rights. This is a question of being open to procreation. This is an issue of natural law.”

Evan Wolfson, the executive director of Freedom to Marry, said the votes were a “clear signal” of lawmakers’ support for gay equality.

Last week, Iowa lawmakers rejected attempts to repeal that state’s gay marriage laws. More than 160 faith leaders gave their support for the right.

Mr Wolfson said: “Iowa and New Hampshire’s refusal to take the freedom to marry away underscored the lesson learned in Massachusetts, Vermont, and Connecticut – including same-sex committed couples in marriage helps families and harms no one.”