The New Hampshire House and Senate are scheduled to vote on an amended gay marriage bill today, leaving the possibility that Governor John Lynch may sign the bill into law this evening or Thursday.

The Legislature has already approved a gay marriage bill and an amended version that corrected omissions found in the original.

Lynch announced last week that he would sign the bill if the Legislature carved out broader religious exceptions for churches and their employees.

Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the alterations in a 3 to 2 vote.

Gay marriage opponents, displeased with the governor's decision, claim the Democratic governor has broken his promise. Lynch sided with opponents on the issue, saying he believed marriage is between a man and a woman, but kept quiet on whether he would veto the bill.

At Tuesday's hearing, opponents called the new exceptions window dressing, arguing they do little to alleviate the concerns of private business and individuals whose religious beliefs deserve to be protected. They advocated for vendor protections that allow businesses such as florists and wedding photographers to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples based on their religious beliefs.

The new bill, however, stopped short of providing such protections.

If the Legislature and governor approve the amended bill, New Hampshire would become the sixth state to legalize gay marriage and the fifth New England state.