Politicians in the US state of Indiana have voted narrowly to remove a clause from a bill to ban same-sex marriage which would have also banned civil unions.

Yesterday it appeared that politicians in the House were evenly split on the constitutional amendment currently being discussed that would ban gay couples from marrying or entering civil unions in the state.

Members of the House voted 52-43 to remove the second sentence of the amendment which would have barred same-sex couples from being able to ever enter civil unions or take advantage of cohabiting benefits.

If both chambers accept the altered version of the bill, it will not go to voters this November, as was expected.

The House is expected to vote on the bill on Tuesday.

Opponents of the bill have seen this amendment as a victory.

Last week Democrats in Indiana said they would focus efforts on deleting the second sentence of the clause.

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