New Hampshire became the sixth state to allow same-sex marriage when Gov. John Lynch signed legislation this afternoon shortly after it was approved by lawmakers, the AP reports. Legislators hammered out a new version clearly spelling out that churches and religious groups would not be forced to officiate at gay marriages or provide other services after Lynch threatened a veto.
The Senate passed the measure today, and the House of Representatives—where the outcome was more in doubt—followed later in the day. The House gallery erupted in cheers after the 198-176 vote. New Hampshire's law takes effect Jan. 1. Lynch, a Democrat, personally opposes gay marriage but decided to view the issue "through a broader lens."