Members of the House Judiciary Committee have voted against two measures that attempt to repeal the state's five-week-old gay marriage law, the AP reported.

One bill would have repealed the gay marriage law approved by lawmakers last year, while the second would have defined marriage as a heterosexual union in the New Hampshire Constitution, effectively banning gay marriage.

Both bills met with strong opposition from Democrats, who rejected the measures by a margin of 2 to 1.

Gay marriage opponents concede the Democrat-controlled Legislature is unlikely to reconsider its decision this year, but they hope to use the issue to alter the political landscape in their favor in November.

State Representative David Bates, a Republican from Windham, is behind a grassroots effort to raise the issue at town hall meetings this spring. The campaign encourages people to put a non-binding resolution calling for a vote on gay marriage before town voters. Bates said he expects a large majority of New Hampshire's towns will put the issue on the agenda.