The Indiana Senate has approved a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that would ban gay marriage and civil unions.

The Republican-sponsored measure cleared the chamber on a 40 to 10 vote.  The Senate’s public gallery was closed Tuesday after protestors disrupted the previous day’s debate on the measure.

Opponents argue that the legislation is discriminatory.   Some business leaders say such a law would discourage many talented potential workers from taking jobs in Indiana.

Indiana already has a state law on the books banning gay marriage.   Amendment sponsor Dennis Kruse of Auburn says this measure would provide maximum protection for the basic family unit of society.  

The Republican-led House approved the amendment last month.  The measure must pass both the House and Senate again in 2013 or 2013 to go to before voters on the 2014 ballot.

(Information for this story came from the Associated Press)

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."