New Hampshire State Rep. David Bates is bankrolling a campaign for legislation he introduced that would repeal the state's 2-year-old gay marriage law, the Concord Monitor reported.

Bates last year introduced a bill that seeks to replace marriage for gay and lesbian couples with civil unions. The legislation would allow any two unmarried adults, including relatives, to enter the union and allow anyone to refuse to recognize such unions. If approved, New Hampshire would become the first state to legislatively overturn marriage equality.

Citing a need to focus on economic issues, Republican leaders last year shelved the measure. And the issue was noticeably absent from the House Republican agenda introduced last week.

Bates is now spearheading a mail campaign in support of his bill.

“Very soon, the New Hampshire Legislature will vote on legislation I filed last year to restore traditional marriage in our state,” Bates, a Republican, wrote on official House of Representatives letterhead and state seal. “If you believe that our marriage law should define marriage the way we've always known it – the union of a man and a woman, then please contact your representatives to support House Bill 437.”

Bates said the statewide mailings are costing “not an insignificant amount.”

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 two years ago.