You could say it's California, 2005 all over again. Except this time, it might be two states that wait on word from their governors on gay marriage bills.

Gay rights advocates are overjoyed to be on the brink of securing the right to marry for gay and lesbian couples in two additional states. Unfortunately, neither state – New Hampshire nor Maine – has a governor that supports gay marriage.

In 2005, the California state Assembly passed a gay marriage bill with no votes to spare. Its governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, said that he believed the issue should be decided either by a vote of the people or a court decision, and rejected the measure. Two years later, the governor vetoed a second attempt by the Assembly.

Gay marriage in New Hampshire and Maine may also rest in the hands of their governors.

Senators in New Hampshire dismissed the recommendation of its Judiciary Committee and approved a bill to legalize gay marriage on a 13 to 11 vote Wednesday. Last month, the House narrowly passed the measure.

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. Lynch does have the option of allowing the bill to become law without his signature.

Last month, Vermont lawmakers stunned the nation when they legalized gay marriage over the objections of Governor Jim Douglas, becoming the first state to do so legislatively, instead of by court order.

Overriding a Lynch veto, however, does not appear to be in the cards for New Hampshire, where both chambers of the Legislature barely scratched up a majority.

In New Hampshire, Governor Lynch, like Schwarzenegger before him, will be the final arbiter on the issue.

A day after the New Hampshire Legislature passed its gay marriage bill, Senators in Maine followed suit with a 21 to 14 vote.

The bill now heads back to the House where it enjoys the support of 55 co-sponsors, including House Speaker Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven. The House could take up the bill as early as Tuesday.

And if House members pass the legislation as expected, Governor John Baldacci will be in the same position as Governor Lynch: A Democrat, opposed to gay marriage, with a gay marriage bill on his desk ready to be signed into law.

Baldacci's tone on the issue has softened up a bit of late. He recently recanted his anti-gay marriage stance, saying he would keep an open mind.

According to, a blog dedicated to LGBT topics, Governor Baldacci said on Wednesday that he has been impressed by proponents of gay marriage, adding: “I was opposed to this for a long time, but people evolve, people change as time goes by.”

How close events in New Hampshire and Maine resemble those in California, the first state to legislatively approve a gay marriage bill only to have it crumble with the stroke of its governor's pen, remains to be seen. In the meantime, advocates on both sides of the issue say they will aggressively lobby both governors.