The New Hampshire house judiciary committee unanimously decided to hold two bills that would repeal a marriage equality law that was approved in 2009.
Lawmakers decided Thursday that such a vote would be held off until the 2012 election cycle, the Associated Press reports. The decision comes after house majority leader D.J. Bettencourt indicated in January that it would be better if the committee held the bill until next year, because marriage equality is a contentious issue that could take away time from working on fixes to the economy.
After being introduced to the committee, a hearing concerning the issue attracted 600 people testifying against repeal in February. According to recent polling, a majority of New Hampshire residents want to keep marriage equality on the books.
New Hampshire Freedom to Marry executive director Mo Baxley said locals are getting more used to the law, which makes them more sympathetic toward gay and lesbian couples and families.
"This is why legislation overturning marriage equality should not be 'retained' until next year but defeated and removed from consideration entirely," Baxley said in a statement Thursday. "It should be sent to the dustbin of history."
Lew Feldstein, cochair of Standing Up for New Hampshire Families, added that two thirds of independent voters and one third of Republican voters support keeping the law.
Gov. John Lynch, who signed the marriage bill into law, said he would veto a repeal if it reached his desk. Still, Republicans hold large enough majorities to override his veto.