A resolution which sought to amend the Iowa Constitution to ban gay marriage has died in the Iowa Legislature.

Friday was the last day lawmakers could act on Republican Senator Dennis Guth's proposed resolution.

“Iowans have been swindled out of their rights and marriage has been redefined right under their noses without their say,” Guth told Senate colleagues. “Don't continue to let your constituents be duped into thinking that there is a law on the books that redefines marriage, because we do not have any properly voted on law.”

Directing his remarks to Senate leaders, he added: “I call on you to bring the marriage amendment out of committee and allow it to be debated on the floor so that the people of Iowa can vote on the definition of marriage in this great state.”

But neither the House nor Senate assigned the measure to a committee before Friday's self-imposed deadline.

Social conservatives have been promoting the Iowa Marriage Amendment (IMA) since 2009, when the state's Supreme Court unanimously struck down a law which prevented gay couples from marrying.

In 2010, lawmakers in the Republican-controlled House approved the amendment. But the effort has been blocked in the Senate by Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, who easily won re-election in November despite a high-profile effort to defeat him.

Guth's resolution has 17 co-sponsors and remains eligible for consideration next year.