A Minnesota House committee on Monday approved a resolution that seeks to constitutionally ban gay marriage in the state, the Minnesota Independent reported.

After hearing several hours' worth of testimony, the Civil Law Committee approved Republican Representative Steve Gottwat's amendment on a 10 to 7 party-line vote. The measure now heads to the Ways and Means Committee. A Senate companion measure cleared its first committee last week.

If approved, voters would be asked in 2012 to decide on the definition of marriage. Minnesota state law already bans gay and lesbian couples from marrying.

Supporters of the measure outstripped opponents at the hearing.

“Gay marriage advocates have attempted to hijack the civil rights movement,” Bishop Bob Battle of the Berean Church of God in Christ told lawmakers. “I know what civil rights are, and gays in America have all the civil rights as anyone else.”

“God gave marriage as a gift to Adam and Eve,” he added.

Republicans won control of both chambers of the Legislature on November 2, dashing the hopes of gay marriage supporters who believed the state was poised to become the sixth in the nation to legalize the institution.

While Democratic Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has pledged his support for gay marriage, his OK isn't needed to place the question on the ballot.

In January, the Christian conservative group Minnesota Family Council pledged to spend $4.71 million over the next two years to see the measure adopted.