The state Senate Rules Committee has approved a proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage, setting up a debate before the full Senate.
The panel voted 8-4 Monday afternoon along party lines to advance the measure following three hours of emotional testimony from supporters and opponents.
The House approved the proposal last month after removing language that also would ban civil unions.
The amendment won broad bipartisan support in 2011 and must pass the Legislature again this session to go to voters in a November referendum. The House move to remove the civil union language could delay the referendum for two years.
Gov. Mike Pence says he supports the original proposal and has refused to comment further as lawmakers hash out the details.
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