INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- A constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is closer to passage in Indiana after an overwhelming House vote.
The Indiana House approved the measure Tuesday on a 70-26 vote, The Indianapolis Star reported. Every Republican but one voted in favor, along with 11 Democrats.
The Republican-controlled state Senate has backed the amendment four times since 2005, but it has previously died in the House, which was controlled by Democrats until the last election.
The measure, which now goes to the Senate, would have to be approved by two separately elected Legislatures and then by voters to take effect. The process would take at least three years.
The ban covers not only same-sex marriage but also anything "substantially similar," meaning the Legislature could not legalize civil unions.
Sponsor Eric Turner said the amendment would preclude a court legalizing gay marriage, as occurred in Iowa.
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller endorsed the measure in a letter to the Legislature and promised to defend it.