The New Hampshire House on Wednesday
voted down a bill which would have permitted wedding providers to
refuse gay and lesbian couples.
Lawmakers overwhelming rejected the
bill with a 246-85 vote, the AP reported.
The measure sought to allow business
owners to withhold wedding-related goods and services if they believe
it would violate their conscience or religious faith. While the bill
does not specifically list gay couples, a January hearing on the bill
made it clear they were being targeted.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Jerry
Bergevin, a Republican from Manchester, has previously said that his
bill “would hardly have any effect on same-sex marriage in New
Hampshire, as there are many businesses in New Hampshire.”
Bergevin has also filed bills which
would mandate Bible study and require evolution be taught as a
Opponents of the measure have called it
The state's two-year-old gay marriage
law has come under frequent attack since Republicans regained control
of both houses of the legislature in 2010.
A vote on a bill which would
repeal the marriage law is expected to take place possibly as early
as next week.