A bill which seeks to protect opponents of marriage equality has cleared a major hurdle in Virginia.

According to CBS affiliate WTKR, the General Laws Committee last week approved House Bill 2025. The bill, proposed by Republican Delegate Nicholas Freitas, now heads to the full House of Delegates.

Freitas' bill protects individuals who refuse to participate in a marriage ceremony based on their “religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman” from criminal or civil liability. The bill's definition of a “person” includes an “organization supervised or controlled by or operated in connection with a religious organization.”

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, criticized the committee's move.

“The right to practice one’s own religion is already firmly protected in the U.S. Constitution,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “In truth, this legislation has nothing to do with religious freedom and everything to do with taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBTQ people. Virginia lawmakers should look closely at the fallout in North Carolina and the state’s deeply discriminatory HB2 law before plowing down a similarly destructive path. The Virginia House of Delegates must abandon this reckless legislation.”

Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed a similar bill last year.