The bill, H.B. 437, would repeal the controversial 2009 law that passed when Democrats controlled the legislature. Republicans won back both chambers in 2010 and have veto-proof majorities.
The bill is favored to pass the state House and Senate, although it is unknown if the GOP can overcome a certain veto by Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat. He signed the 2009 law.
The full legislature won't vote on the bill until next year, the Union-Leader newspaper reported.
The bill would keep current same-sex "marriages" intact but would prohibit new ones. It also would legalize civil unions for all couples -- heterosexual and homosexual. Same-sex civil unions were legal in New Hampshire before the 2009 law passed.
"We think that the amendment passed by the subcommittee ... represents a common-sense compromise to what has been a very divisive issue over the last three years," said Kevin Smith, executive director of Cornerstone Action, a state group that opposes the current law. "We are hopeful that this amended bill will enjoy bi-partisan support and is a solution that both sides can live with."
New Hampshire is one of five states that recognize gay "marriage."
Compiled by Michael Foust, associate editor of Baptist Press.
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