A key New Hampshire panel has recommended that the Senate reject two GLBT bills: one that legalizes gay marriage and a trangender protections bill, reports the Union Leader.

The five member Judiciary Committee voted 3 to 2 Thursday against the gay marriage bill that narrowly passed the House last month. Committee Chair Deborah Reynolds, a Democrat, joined the committee's two Republicans, Sheila Roberge of Bedford and Robert J. Letourneau of Derry, in voting against the bill.

The panel's recommendation does not bind the full Senate but is likely to influence the bill's final outcome. Passage in the Democratic-led Senate appeared dim before the recommendation. 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.

Two years ago, lawmakers in the state approved civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. Both the civil union and gay marriage bill were introduced by openly gay Representative Jim Splaine, a Democrat.

In voting against the gay marriage bill, Letourneau and Reynolds both cited civil unions as adequate.

Earlier in the month, the House reversed itself and approved a transgender protections bill. Opponents of the measure, Republicans mostly, called it the “bathroom bill” and asked it be flushed down the drain. House members agreed, but less than a month later, at the urging of House Speaker Terie Norelli, a Democrat from Rockingham, they altered course and passed the bill by the slimmest of margins: 188 to 187.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously against the transgender rights bill.

The bill, introduced in January by openly gay Representative Edward Butler, would protect transgender people from discrimination in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations.

Opponents paint the bill as “dangerous.”

“This seeks to elevate nebulous groups to the sacred level we find in racial discrimination,” Mount Vernon Republican William O'Brien said during debate on the House floor. “This bill is not needed. It's dangerous.”

“This is an invitation, it seems to me, for people with predatory tendencies to come and hide behind the fact that they are having a transgender experience,” state Rep. Peyton Hinkle, a Republican from Merrimack, said.

A public debate on the issue in New Hampshire is being pushed by the Tony Perkins-led Family Research Council. The social conservative group ran an advertisement in the local media threatening lawmakers who vote in favor of the legislation.

The ad featured a Post-It Note scribbled with the words “YOU ARE FIRED,” and urged residents to contact legislators to vote against gay rights legislation, including the gay marriage bill and transgender protections bill.

Committee members listened to three hours of testimony before voting down the bills.