New Hampshire State Rep. David Bates has withdrawn his support for a bill that would constitutionally ban gay marriage in the state, the AP reported.

Bates, a Republican from Windham, introduced two bills seeking to undo the state's gay marriage law approved during a Democrat-controlled Legislature in 2009.

One bill seeks to repeal the marriage law. Gay and lesbian couples already married would remain so, but going forward the bill would establish civil unions for any two adults competent to enter into a contract – including relatives. The bill cleared the House Judiciary Committee last week, and the full House is expected to take up the measure when it convenes in January.

The second bill sought to place an amendment in the state constitution defining marriage as a heterosexual union. Citing the need to simplify the process, Bates withdrew his support for this bill.

Having both bills would “complicate the decision for legislators if there was another alternative our there,” he told the AP.

Polling, however, shows little support for repealing the law.

A WMUR Granite State poll from the University of New Hampshire Survey Center found that only 27 percent of 500 randomly selected adults reached by telephone support repealing the law, while 50 percent are strongly opposed to repeal.