A bill to ban same-sex marriage in Indiana was being considered in the House of Representatives in the US state today.

The bill represents a potentially bitter fight over whether or not same-sex marriage should be allowed in the state.

“This issue has been in front of us since 2004, and it is time to bring it to a close,” said Republican Representative Eric Turner, who supports the bill.

He sits on a committee deciding whether or not to send the bill to a full House vote.

A companion measure does, however, claim to say that the intent of the proposed bill to ban same-sex marriage, is not to stop same-sex couples from claiming employer health benefits.

Despite this, the bills would also ban same-sex civil unions.

Democratic leaders in both chambers, have asked several times to no avail for the legislation to not be tabled, given how divisive it may prove. Republican leaders have said that they want the measure to have a chance, however.

If the measure is approved this year, it would clear a second and final stage, before being considered by voters this November.

The Indiana Senate in March 2011 approved the constitutional amendment banning gay marriages and civil unions by 40 votes to 10.The public gallery had to be cleared after gay rights protesters shouted at politicians.

A month prior, the Republican controlled House of Representatives approved the measure with a vote of 70 to 26.

Those on both sides of the fight over equal marriage in the state are gearing up for the battle over the legislation.

Thirty-three states have banned same-sex marriage by statute, using constitutional amendments, or both.