New Hampshire State Representative Jim Splaine said Thursday that opponents of gay marriage are preparing a new assault on the state's gay marriage law, the Portsmouth-based Seacoast Online reported.

Splaine, a Democrat, was the chief backer behind a bill that recognized gay and lesbian couples with civil unions in 2007 and last year's gay marriage law.

Speaking to students at the University of New Hampshire, Splaine said three bills that seek to repeal the law have already been filed. He cautioned that the midterm elections would likely alter the makeup of the Legislature in favor of repeal.

“You could well see there's not going to be [the] votes we need to keep marriage from repeal,” he said.

A February effort to repeal the law six weeks after it went into effect on January 1, 2010 was crushed under the weight of a 210 to 109 House vote. Another bill that sought to define marriage as a heterosexual union in the New Hampshire Constitution suffered a similar fate, but succeeded in attracting greater support.

One lawmaker, State Representative Nancy Elliott, created an uproar and ultimately offered a backhanded apology for remarks she made during a House Judiciary Committee hearing considering the bills.

“We're talking about taking the penis of a man and putting it in the rectum of another man and wriggling it around in excrement. And you have to think, would I want that to be done to me?” Elliott, a Republican from Hillsborough, testified.

Elliott also alleged that the new law was hurting children, a standard claim of gay marriage opponents.

New Hampshire public schools are “showing presentations of anal sex … They are showing our fifth graders how they can actually perform this kind of sex … that is the context of the lesson, that 'This is something that you, as a fifth grader, you may want to try,'” she said.

Elliott is among the lawmakers backing a bill that would put a gay marriage ban in the state's constitution.

Splaine, who is not running for re-election this year but promised to return in 2012, said he did not believe the effort would gain much traction in the Legislature.

“I think it's unlikely that the effort to repeal will succeed. I think there's a number of Republicans who will be on our side,” he said. “But I am very fearful.”