A joint Hawaii House committee on Tuesday approved a proposed gay marriage bill, sending it to the full House for consideration.

The Hawaii House Judiciary and Finance committee approved Senate Bill 1 with an 18-12 vote.

The vote came after lawmakers concluded a 5-day marathon hearing on the marriage bill.

The committee attached three amendments to the bill, including one that expands exemptions for religious groups. The amendment allows “for profit” religious groups to be exempt from the law. Legislators said they modeled the exemptions after those found in Connecticut's marriage law.

The House is scheduled to begin debate on the bill at 6 PM local time.

The Senate approved the bill last week during a special session called for by Democratic Governor Neil Abercrombie, who has pledged his signature. If the House approves a bill with amendments, then the bill would head back to the Senate for a second round.

The move came on the same day that Illinois lawmakers approved a bill making Illinois the 15th state to allow gay couples to marry. Gay and lesbian couples can also marry in the District of Columbia.

UPDATE: Hawaii House will consider the bill Wednesday morning at 10 AM.