A key panel in the Argentine Senate is expected to deliver its recommendation on a gay marriage bill Tuesday.

The Senate General Law Committee began debate on the bill last month after it was approved in May by Argentina's lower house, the Chamber of Deputies (la Camara de Diputados).

The committee is headed by Senator Liliana Negre de Alonso, who has publicly said she disagrees with giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. Her committee began a four-city hearing tour on June 14 that wrapped up on June 28 in the provincial capital city of Mendoza.

The full Senate is scheduled to take up the bill on July 14, a Wednesday. Senate members appear divided on the measure, making the panel's opinion a crucial deciding factor.

The Roman Catholic Church has forcefully objected to the legalization of gay marriage in the Catholic stronghold.

Senator Norma Morandini told members of the media that a church official told her she was “going to hell” for supporting the measure.

The opinion arrives almost a week after an estimated 2,000 people rallied in front of the National Congress urging lawmakers to approve the gay marriage bill. Gay marriage opponents – led by Catholic and evangelical churches – have called for a giant protest on July 13.