The Indiana Senate on Thursday failed to return language to a proposed gay marriage ban, meaning that the question will not be on the ballot in November.

House Joint Resolution 3 (HJR-3) cleared the House two weeks ago after lawmakers amended the measure to strip out language which also banned civil unions and other similar arrangements. Because a constitutional amendment must be approved by two separately elected General Assemblies before it can advance to the ballot box, HJR-3's altered language effectively blocks it from reaching November's ballot.

Supporters of the ban – including the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) – called on the Senate to return HJR-3's original language. NOM has previously said that it was confident voters would approve the amendment in November.

But no amendments to HJR-3 were introduced as the Senate called the measure for a second reading.

In an emailed statement, Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, welcomed the development.

“Today's action is a welcome step back from the brink, ensuring that Indiana's families will not be subjected to a harsh campaign that would add cruel and unconstitutional language to Indiana's state constitution this November,” Wolfson said. “This reflects the growing momentum for the freedom to marry the person you love, and a repudiation of the effort to strip gay Hoosiers and their families of legal protections and respect.”

Wolfson called on the Senate to reject HJR-3.

Should the Senate advance the measure, the earliest it could reach voters is 2016.