NH Passes Gay Marriage Bill, Sends to Gov

He may let hot potato lie until it passes automatically Jan. 1
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2009 5:56 AM CDT
State Sen. Margaret Hassan, D-Exeter, introduces an amendment to a gay marriage bill at the State house in Concord, NH, last month.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – A bill to legalize gay marriage in New Hampshire has landed on Gov. John Lynch's desk and is likely to stay there for a while, the Edge reports. Lynch—besieged by messages from pro- and anti-gay marriage groups—has signaled that he personally opposes the bill. Many expect him to simply let the bill gather dust until it becomes law without his signature on January 1.

The bill was sent to Lynch after New Hampshire's House—which first approved the bill in March—voted 178-167 in favor of revisions from the state Senate that removed wording saying only "ministers of the gospel" could perform marriage rites. If the bill becomes law, that would leave Rhode Island as the only New England state not allowing gay marriage.