The Indiana House on Tuesday approved a resolution that aims to ban gay marriage in the state with a constitutional amendment, the AP reported.

Lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the measure with a 70-26 vote after 30 minutes of debate.

“The basic unit of society is the family, and the cornerstone of the family is marriage,” the bill's author, Republican Rep. Eric Turner, said. “Marriage is, and should be, the union of one man and one woman.”

Representative David Cheatham, a Democrat and a co-sponsor of the bill, said he wanted to give voters the right to decide the issue: “We simply offer that question to the people. We don't decide that. The people decide that.”

The measure now heads to the Senate, which has approved similar measures in the past. But voters won't see the issue until 2014 at the earliest, after a separately-elected General Assembly approves the resolution.

Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, which on Monday launched a $10 million gay marriage campaign, urged the Indiana Senate to reject the measure.

“Government should be on the side of all families, not putting barriers in their paths as they seek to care for their loved ones,” Wolfson said in a statement.

“Constitutions should be respected as shields of fairness for all, not used as weapons to discriminate and harm. Indiana's legislators should resoundingly reject this assault on the constitution and families,” he added.