New Hampshire lawmakers unexpectedly rejected a bill on Wednesday that would have made the state the sixth in the United States to authorize gay marriage.
The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives voted down the bill in a 188-186 vote, hours after its Senate approved the legislation 14-10 along party lines. An earlier version of the bill passed the state’s House of Representatives on March 26.
Both chambers had been asked to approve language that would give religious institutions opposed to gay marriage legal protections, including the right to decline to marry same-sex couples. That wording was added by Governor John Lynch, who promised to sign the bill if those changes were made.