A bill to ban same-sex couples from marrying in the US state of Indiana has passed its House vote and will move to the Senate.

The House on Tuesday evening passed Joint Resolution 3, with 57 votes to 40. The next stage will be the Senate Judiciary Committee, however a referendum on the issue may not actually take place until two years time.

Equal marriage supporters celebrated a brief victory on Monday, as a sentence was removed from the bill which would have included civil unions and cohabiting same-sex couples under the blanket ban.

It is thought that the removed sentence may be re-added to the bill when it goes to the Sentate.

“The fact is, we have not dismantled this bomb,” said Scott Pelath, House Democratic minority leader.

“We’ve simply placed a longer fuse on it before it detonates in all of our faces.”

The Senate committee is expected to take up the bill in mid February, at which point, if approved, it could go to the full Senate.

In order for the measure to be enacted, it must be approved in two consecutive legislative sessions, and then placed on a ballot. In removing the sentence, the bill may be further delayed.

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.