A proposed equal marriage bill in the US state of Minnesota has survived several moves by Senate Republicans to block its progress.

Yesterday, both on the Minnesota Senate floor and in a Rules Committee meeting, Democrats who control the chamber defeated a series of Republican motions to postpone its progress.

Republicans said they were simply seeking more information about whether it would cost taxpayers’ money to allow gay couples to marry – in court costs, state employee benefits and other areas.

On Tuesday, both the Minnesota House and Senate committees passed the proposed same-sex marriage bill.

However, it still needs to pass through the House in full, where opponents say they have a better chance of defeating it.

Governor Mark Dayton has said he would sign the bill if the House and Senate pass it.

Gay weddings could be allowed to start in August under the current proposals.

On 6 November 2012, voters in Minnesota voted ‘no’ on Amendment 1, a constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as being a union solely between a man and a woman.

Washington, Maine and Maryland legalised equal marriage in referendums in those states on the same day.

Pro-equality campaigners in Minnesota have since stepped up efforts to push for equal marriage to be legalised in the state.