On the heels of two gay marriage wins, the New Hampshire Senate prepares to take up the issue.

New Hampshire Representative Jim Splaine's bill that seeks to grant gay and lesbian couples the right to marry narrowly won approval by the House late last month. Members voted 186 to 179 to send the bill to the Senate.

A Senate committee looking into the issue is scheduled to convene on Wednesday, but the bill's chances of passage in the Democrat-led Senate remain nebulous. Governor John Lynch, a Democrat, has said he opposes gay marriage but has remained quiet on whether he would veto the measure should it reach his desk.

In recent weeks, Vermont became the first U.S. state to legalize gay marriage legislatively, instead of by court order. And the Iowa Supreme Court overturned a gay marriage ban in an unanimous decision.

Whether these recent gay marriage wins – especially the decisive language used by the seven Iowa justices – have any influence on Senators in New Hampshire remains to be seen.

Two years ago, lawmakers in the state approved civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. That bill was also introduced by openly gay Democrat Splaine.

Four states, mostly in New England, offer gay marriage: Iowa, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut.