The state Senate Rules Committee has approved a proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage, which now moves the proposal to the full Senate.
The panel heard three hours of testimony from supporters and opponents.
The House approved the proposal last month after removing language that also would ban civil unions and that could delay the referendum for two years.
That language would need to be restored so that it is the same bill that would be passed twice as required by law.
The amendment was passed last year and must pass the Legislature again this session to go to voters in a November referendum.