A Texas Senate panel on Wednesday approved a bill which seeks to repeal the state's law making gay sex a crime.

According to gay weekly the Dallas Voice, the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice advanced the measure sponsored by Democratic Senator Jose Rodriguez with a 5-0 vote.

Similar laws remains on the books in 14 states despite a 2003 Supreme Court ruling which declared Texas' sodomy law to be unconstitutional in Lawrence v. Texas.

“Today's action is the first time the repeal legislation has ever been advanced by a Texas legislative committee subsequent to Lawrence v. Texas,” said Equality Texas, the state's largest gay rights advocate.

Representatives from Equality Texas and the State Bar of Texas testified before the committee in favor of the bill.

The measure seeks to repeal the state's unconstitutional “Homosexual Conduct” law and amend the Health and Safety Code to delete the statement that “homosexual conduct is not an acceptable lifestyle and is a criminal offense under … the Penal Code.”

Two Republicans joined three Democrats to advance the bill to the full Senate.