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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Indiana lawmakers have effectively killed a proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage for this year.
The state Senate advanced a House version of a proposed amendment banning gay marriage Thursday without debate. But because the House stripped out a sentence barring civil unions last month, the amendment process must start fresh.
Indiana law requires proposed constitutional amendments to pass two consecutive sessions of the Legislature with the same language before being put to voters. The gay marriage ban passed in 2011 with the civil unions language included.
Supporters of the ban argued that a public vote was needed in November to protect the existing definition of marriage from possible court challenges. Opponents said it wasn't necessary because state law already defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
Opponents of the ban say they scored a "huge victory" when the state Senate advanced the measure without language barring civil unions.
Freedom Indiana campaign manager Megan Robertson says the Senate's decision to keep the "deeply flawed" sentence out is a "win for freedom" in Indiana.