AMMAN, Jordan — The lower house of Jordan’s parliament has closed a legal loophole that gave judges the discretion to impose light sentences for so-called “honor crimes.”

Activists and the state news agency Petra say lawmakers on Sunday amended an article of the penal code which cited “severe anger” a mitigating circumstance for men who kill female relatives in the name of “family honor.”

Some killers served as little as six months in prison, though courts have gotten tougher.

Activist Asma Khader praised the decision as a “big step forward” for women in socially conservative Jordan.

Later this week, lawmakers are also expected to repeal an article that enables a rapist to escape punishment if he marries his victim.

Sunday’s amendment still needs approval from the upper house, widely seen as a formality.