A second Louisiana committee has rejected a bill that sought to allow gay and lesbian couples to jointly adopt a child, the Leesville Daily Reader reported.

Louisiana is among a handful of states that prohibit gay couples from adopting by restricting adoptions to married couples in a state that defines marriage as a heterosexual union. However, a partnered gay or lesbian person where the pair live apart may adopt a child, but only one adult can become the legal parent.

Representative Juan LaFonta's bill sought to allow gay couples to jointly adopt a child.

“There are too many children who need homes,” LaFonta, a New Orleans Democrat, told NOLA.com. “We've got to stop this narrow regulating of what is a family and what's not.”

On Wednesday, the Louisiana House Civil Law and Procedure Committee voted unanimously to pass on LaFonta's bill. A similar bill died with a 3-to-1 vote in a Senate committee earlier this legislative session.

A similar measure approved in 2008 by voters in Arkansas was ruled unconstitutional in April. In making his ruling, the judge said the law was “troubling” because it “specifically targeted” gay men and lesbians. Opponents have vowed to appeal.

Only Florida has an outright ban on gay adoption. The ban, however, was also found to be unconstitutional in 2008. An appeals court heard the case last August after the state challenged the lower court's ruling and a decision is expected any day now.

Opponents of removing the adoption restrictions in Louisiana argue that such actions would violate the spirit of the state's gay marriage ban.