A Rhode Island bill which seeks to make the state the 10th to legalize gay marriage faces its first vote on Tuesday.

The House Judiciary Committee is expected to approve the legislation and send it the full House, which could vote on the bill possibly as early as this week.

House Speaker Gordon Fox has previously said he would like to call a vote on the bill before the end of the month.

The committee vote follows a hearing on the issue which attracted hundreds to the State House. More than 300 people signed up, but many did not speak.

Outside the hearing, opponents chanted “Let the people vote” and prayed under the State House dome.

(Related: Hundreds testify before Rhode Island House panel considering gay marriage bill.)

Rhode Island is the only New England state which does not allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. Two years ago, lawmakers approved civil unions for gay couples.

While passage in the House looks bright and Governor Lincoln Chafee has endorsed the effort, doubts remain in the Senate, where Democratic leaders remain opposed.