A subcommittee of the South Carolina Senate last week approved a resolution calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.

According to The Post and Courier, the measure now heads to the full Senate Judiciary Committee.

Thirty-four states are needed to call for a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution. Amendments must be ratified by 38 states to take effect.

Republican Senator Larry Grooms, the bill's sponsor, said the amendment was needed to ensure the survival of the human race.

“It has to do with the propagation of the our species,” Grooms said. “It is what is in the best interest of our species. Now we're told through a federal judge that now we have to change that. It throws out of kilter all of our laws that have been based on the foundation of a man and a woman [being married].”

Democrats on the subcommittee voted against the measure.

Gay couples began marrying in South Carolina late last year.