New Hampshire Passes Marriage Bill Click the byline to view more stories by this author. By Amita Parashar New Hampshire governor John Lynch has signed the state's same-sex marriage bill into law. The state is now one of six where same-sex marriage is currently legal.

Wednesday afternoon, by a 198-176 vote, the Democrat-controlled New Hampshire house approved a compromised same-sex marriage bill that was approved by the senate earlier that day.

Last week, house and senate negotiators drafted and agreed on a compromised version of the bill, which provides religious protections mandated by the governor.

The state legislature passed an original marriage-equality bill earlier this year, but Governor Lynch refused to sign it until language explicitly protecting religious institutions was included. A version with the governor's language passed in the senate in late May, but failed to garner enough votes in the 400-member house.

Same-sex couples will be allowed to marry in New Hampshire as early as January 1, 2010.
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