New Hampshire State Rep. David Bates
has withdrawn his support for a bill that would constitutionally ban
gay marriage in the state, the AP reported.
Bates, a Republican from Windham,
introduced two bills seeking to undo the state's gay marriage law
approved during a Democrat-controlled Legislature in 2009.
One bill seeks to repeal the marriage
law. Gay and lesbian couples already married would remain so, but
going forward the bill would establish civil unions for any two
adults competent to enter into a contract – including relatives.
The bill cleared the House Judiciary Committee last week, and the
full House is expected to take up the measure when it convenes in
The second bill sought to place an
amendment in the state constitution defining marriage as a
heterosexual union. Citing the need to simplify the process, Bates
withdrew his support for this bill.
Having both bills would “complicate
the decision for legislators if there was another alternative our
there,” he told the AP.
Polling, however, shows little support
for repealing the law.
Granite State poll from the University of New Hampshire Survey Center
found that only 27 percent of 500 randomly selected adults reached by
telephone support repealing the law, while 50 percent are strongly
opposed to repeal.