The repeal effort was always a long shot, with Democratic Governor John Lynch vowing to veto any repeal bill that emerged from the GOP-led state legislature. But the margin of defeat in the House was surprising; Republicans hold a 189-seat advantage in that chamber.
The Union Leader of Manchester, New Hampshire, reports that many state representatives were uncomfortable with the idea of taking away rights that they had previously granted. New Hampshire lawmakers legalized gay marriage in 2009. Others saw no point in pushing through a repeal measure that Lynch said he would veto.
New Hampshire is one of eight states to allow same-sex marriage. Two of those states, Maryland and Washington, legalized gay unions this year. In another state, New Jersey, Democratic lawmakers passed legislation allowing gay marriage, but Republican Governor Chris Christie vetoed it.