The Missouri Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that seeks to give broad legal protections to opponents of marriage equality.

Republicans used a procedural move to kill a 39-hour filibuster by Democrats.

At least seven Democrats lead by Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal attempted to block Senate Joint Resolution No. 39, a proposed constitutional amendment which supporters claim would protect religious liberty and opponents say would insert discrimination into the Missouri Constitution.

As the filibuster entered its third day, Republicans cut off debate by submitting a letter signed by a simple majority of senators. The bill cleared the chamber with a 23-9 vote. A second vote is needed before the bill can move to the House.

The question could go before Missouri voters as soon as November if approved by the Republican-led House and Senate.

The bill would protect religious groups when acting “in accordance with a sincere religious belief” about same-sex marriage. Schools, charities and even retirement homes are among the businesses that could qualify as a religious organization under the bill.

Opponents believe the bill could be used to deny housing, employment and social services to gay and lesbian people who are married.