CONCORD, N.H. – New Hampshire’s House Republican leader said Friday he will ask that the fight to repeal gay marriage be postponed until 2012.

Rep. D.J. Bettencourt said he will ask the committee responsible for the repeal bill to retain it until next year.

Bettencourt said the National Organization for Marriage sent a direct mailer to his district in Salem saying he doesn’t support traditional family values. He said the mailer was the result of his announcement last week that the House Republican agenda did not include repealing gay marriage.

Bettencourt said the incident shows how controversial the issue is and reinforces his belief the House should focus on fiscal issues this year.

In a letter to House Speaker William O’Brien, Bettencourt said the organization and its supporters in New Hampshire know the repeal bill will be acted upon because legislative rules require floor votes on bills.

“This assault on our agenda has the potential to take important focus and energy away from our focus on the budget,” Bettencourt wrote O’Brien.

Mo Baxley, executive director of New Hampshire Freedom to Marry, which supports gay marriage, called it a “clear effort by a small but well-funded group to bully the GOP House majority leader.”

Gay marriage was enacted two years ago. Democratic Gov. John Lynch signed the law and said he would veto any repeal.