The New Hampshire House is expected on Wednesday to vote on a bill which would repeal the state's 2-year-old gay marriage law.

House Rep. David Bates last year introduced a bill which would make New Hampshire the first state to legislatively overturn such a law.

The bill would replace marriage with civil unions for any unmarried adults, including relatives, and would allow anyone to refuse to recognize such unions.

Bates' bill has faced delays reaching the House floor for a vote. It was shelved last year after lawmakers held highly emotional public hearings. And House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt kept it at bay this session in order to deal with “critical economic-related legislation” first.

“For more than two years, we've been working toward this moment,” said Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage. “Thanks to your hard work and dedication, a majority in both houses now supports marriage and we are optimistic about next Wednesday's vote.”

While Republicans control both the House and Senate, a two-thirds majority is needed to override a promised veto by Democratic Governor John Lynch, who signed the gay marriage bill in 2009.

Several libertarian-leaning Republicans have said repeal runs counter to their ideology. On Sunday, Republican Rep. Seth Cohn said he does not believe there is sufficient support to get around the governor.

“I know for a fact, based on people I've talked to, that if Gov. Lynch vetoes it, that veto is not override-able,” Cohn told the Concord Monitor.

An October survey found few New Hampshire voters (27%) in favor of repeal.

Roughly 2,000 gay and lesbian couples have married since the law took effect.