Same-sex marriage advances in N.H.

The Associated PressApril 30, 2009 

— New Hampshire is a step closer to allowing same-sex marriage after a state Senate vote.

A bill the Senate passed Wednesday would have gone to Gov. John Lynch, but senators changed the version that passed the House.

The changes include a provision that makes a distinction between religious and civil ceremonies and would allow churches to decide whether they will marry same-sex couples. The House rejected a similar proposal during its debate.

Lynch has said he thinks the word "marriage" should be reserved for a man and a woman. He hasn't said he would veto the bill.

If the bill becomes law, New Hampshire will be the fifth state to allow same-sex marriage.

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