The state House could still bring up a controversial ballot proposal regarding same-sex marriage, but its leader doesn’t expect that to happen.

House Speaker Todd Richardson (photo courtesy; Missouri House Communications)

House Speaker Todd Richardson (photo courtesy; Missouri House Communications)

A tie vote in a committee Wednesday meant the failure a plan to ask voters whether the state Constitution should block lawsuits and penalties for religious organizations and businesses who deny services in same-sex marriages. There are ways the House could still vote whether to advance the measure, but House Speaker Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff) thinks it’s finished.

“I’m disappointed that the resolution wasn’t able to move forward. I said at the beginning that I was going to let the process work and the process operated here, and the bill didn’t have enough votes to get out of committee,” said Richardson. “I don’t see any effort to bring it back.”

Richardson says the topic will come back up in future legislative sessions.

“It doesn’t mean that that’s the end of the discussion about religious liberty. It’s important to me, it’s important to, I know, a fair majority of the General Assembly,” said Richardson.

Backers of the resolution said its passage would protect the freedom of those with religious objections to same-sex marriage. Opponents said it would protect discrimination against the LGBT community.

Three Republicans voted with Democrats in Wednesday’s committee decision.