— The Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. — Six weeks after New Hampshire legalized gay marriage, the House overwhelmingly defeated two measures Wednesday that would have taken away their right to marry.

The House voted 210-109 to kill a bill to repeal the law. An hour earlier, the House voted 201-135 to kill a proposed constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as between one man and one woman.

Gay marriage opponents needed 60 percent of the House to send the proposed amendment to the Senate, which would have had to pass it by the same margin. They knew their chances of success were slim of passing either measure. Several said they will look to the November election in hopes voters will elect people who will repeal the law next session and put an anti-gay marriage amendment on a future ballot.

Rep. David Bates, R-Windham, tried unsuccessfully to delay the vote on the proposed amendment until March 17, which would be after most town meetings. A number of towns will consider a nonbinding resolution calling on lawmakers to put an amendment on the ballot. Bates, who helped organize the grass-roots effort, wanted the proposed amendment to be on this November’s ballot.

So far, organizers have had mixed success getting towns to put the proposal before voters.

Kevin Smith, executive director of the conservative Cornerstone Policy Research, predicted last week the proposed amendment would get more votes than the bill to repeal the law — but both would still fail.

”It is quite clear that this Legislature is just completely out of touch with the will of the people, who want the right to have their say on the issue of gay marriage,” he said Wednesday after the vote on the amendment. ”The bottom line, though, is they are going to get their say at the ballot box this November.”

Bates argued marriage is one man and one woman and an important institution in society. ”I’d like to see our civilization continue,” he said.

Gay marriage supporters argued it would be cruel to take away gays’ right to marry so soon after legalizing the unions.