By Kathleen Gilbert

CONCORD, New Hampshire, April 29, 2009 ( – New Hampshire’s senate this afternoon voted 13-11 to extend the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples, reports the Associated Press.  The bill would make New Hampshire the fifth state to legalized same-sex “marriage,” and the third to do so this month.

The measure survived despite the fact that the Senate Judiciary Committee last week voted 3-2 to send the bill to the Senate floor with a recommendation to vote it down. 

A last-minute amendment ensuring the right of religious clergy to decline performing same-sex “marriage” ceremonies, and allowing heterosexual couples to choose the words “bride” and “groom” on their marriage certificate rather than simply “spouse,” helped gather critical support for the bill.

In late March the House passed a similar bill, which must now be rectified with the Senate version.

Gov. John Lynch has spoken in favor of true marriage in the past, but it is unclear whether he plans to veto the measure.