The New Hampshire Legislature has
failed to pass an amended gay marriage bill, but efforts to kill the
bill also failed, reports the Union Leader.
Senators approved a new gay marriage
bill that included the religious exemptions that Governor John Lynch
had sought but House members balked at the idea.
The divided House turned down the bill
in a 188 to 186 vote, but also refused to kill the bill. Members
then voted 207 to 168 to ask the Senate for a compromise.
Gay marriage opponents say Lynch's
religious protections don't go far enough, and claim that 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 when the bill arrived on his desk he agreed to sign
it on the condition that the Legislature increase protections for
churches and their employees.
Opponents have advocated for vendor
protections that would allow businesses not associated with the
church, 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.