An Indiana Senate committee approved on Thursday an amendment to the state constitution that would ban same-sex marriages.
The legislation will now go before the Senate for a full vote where it might clear again as it has in previous years.
However, it is unlikely that the ban would be amended to the constitution this year. The House Rules Committee chairman has told media outlets that he will not give it a hearing this year.
To amend the Indiana Constitution, the provision must be passed by two consecutively elected legislatures and then approved by voters in a general election.
The legislation, known as SJR 7, cleared both the Senate and House in 2006. It passed again in the Senate last year but died in the House committee.
If the provision clears the legislature this session then it will go before voters as a referendum this November. In the case where it doesn't pass this session, legal experts say the year 2012 would be the earliest when the issue goes before voters.
Indiana is one of many states in the nation which already has a state law banning same-sex marriage.
But like traditional marriage supporters in other states, proponents of SJR 7 argue that a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is necessary to prevent an appellate court from someday overturning the statute.
Eric Miller, founder of the conservative group Advance America, said traditional marriage is under attack and agreed that voters should be able to weigh in on the issue, according to The Times.
"The people of the state of Indiana have not had the opportunity to vote," he said.
The Senate has until Wednesday to approve the amendment and send it onto the House.