A controversial bill that proposes a statewide constitutional ban on marriage for same-sex couples in Indiana advanced to the full State Senate after a committee vote on Monday (10 February).
Members of the Senate Rules and Legislative Procedure Committee voted along party lines to advance the bill. It was an 8-4 vote by the Republican-controlled committee.
Although same-sex marriage is already illegal in Indiana, the bill seeks to amend the state constitution to define marriage as being between one man and one woman.
The full senate could vote on the bill later this week.
The bill advanced without discussion about the absence of its most controversial provision which also bans civil unions and domestic partnerships.
Last month, the state's House of Representatives voted 52-43 to amend it by removing that provision.
Representatives from both parties in the House expressed concern about the language that prohibits any legal relationship that is 'identical or substantially similar' to marriage.
This could jeopardize, opponents of the bill say, things that are currently available to same-sex couples including health benefits and hospital visitation.
Governor Mike Pence has indicated he's like the controversial provision put back in so the matter can be settled this fall by voters. Any change in the original bill means the soonest it could be voted on by the public is 2016.
In its original form, it can be on the ballot this November.
The full 50-member Senate could take up the question of whether or not to restore the provision.