New Hampshire is a step closer to allowing gay 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 on the bill.
Lynch has said he believes 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 would be the fifth state
to allow gay marriage. A defeat would frustrate activists' efforts
to extend gay marriage to all of New England.