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New Hampshire to vote today on amendments to gay marriage bill

Jessica Geen May 20, 2009
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The New Hampshire House and Senate are to vote today on whether to pass an amended gay marriage bill in the state.

Last week, Governor John Lynch said he would sign the bill if amendments were made to it to offer more protection against lawsuits to churches and their employees if their beliefs prevent them from marrying gay couples.

Legislative leaders have said they will back the changes and gay marriage supporters have not objected.

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 3-2 to recommend the expanded protections to the full Senate.

It is expected that the Senate will pass the revised bill but supporters are less sure whether it will be passed in the House, where a majority of the 398 sitting members will be needed to vote in support of the bill.

Governor Lynch said last week that despite his personal views on gay marriage, he had chosen to view the issue “through a broader lens”.

If passed, the bill will make New Hampshire the sixth US state to legalise gay marriage and the fourth in just six weeks.

Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Iowa and Maine now allow gay couples to marry.

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