The Delaware House on Tuesday approved a bill which seeks to make Delaware the 10th state to legalize gay marriage.

After a roughly two-hour debate, representatives approved the measure with a 23-18 vote.

Nicole Theis, president of the Delaware Family Policy Council, testified against passage of the bill, saying that such unions would hurt children.

The bill's champion in the House, Democratic Rep. Melanie George Smith, pointed out that the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have endorsed marriage equality as in the best interest of protecting the children of gay and lesbian couples.

The move comes less than a week after the House Administration Committee approved the measure. Lawmakers listened to 90 minutes of testimony before endorsing the measure with a 4-1 vote and sending it to the full House for further consideration.

If the measure is approved, the state would discontinue civil unions after July 1, and existing civil unions would be upgraded to full marriage.

The bill now moves to the Senate.