As we fully expected, some Senators who today voted to table SB 707, the Marriage Protection Amendment, are now telling constituents “there was no vote on SB 707” or “I didn’t vote against it.”
Contrary to the purpose of the motion to table, in the case of SB 707 lawmakers voted to table to kill the bill, with the intent of then telling constituents they did nothing of the sort. Here are the facts of what happened on SB 707 today:
Late last week, Senate Bill 707 was placed on the official calendar of the Senate Judiciary Committee to be voted today.
At today’s meeting, when the bill was brought up for consideration, Sen. Daylin Leach (D) Montgomery, made a motion to table the bill. The motion was seconded, and the chairman of the committee took a roll-call vote on the motion to table.
There were eight senators who voted AYE on the motion to table (thereby in effect killing SB 707 for this session), and six who voted NAY. We notified Senators and citizens that we considered an AYE vote on a motion to table be a vote AGAINST SB 707.
Unfortunately, many legislators prefer voting on procedural motions (like tabling), so that they can avoid being held responsible for the defeat of a bill. That, we contend, is the case with today’s vote to table SB 707
The vote today by the Senate Judiciary Committee was to table SB 707. By tabling the bill, it halted advancement of the marriage amendment in PA and likely ended its chances of being passed this legislative session. Indeed, a press release from the chief opponent of SB 707, Sen. Daylin Leach this afternoon stated:
Sen Daylin Leach announced that the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning defeated a bill that would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman.
1vote to defeat it. We believe that legislators should be held accountable for that vote.
The Marriage Protection Amendment, is vital to protect marriage in Pennsylvania.. Any vote taken against the SB 707, whether by tabling, amending or directly voting against, is rightly viewed as an action against protecting marriage.
The bottom line: SB 707 would give the citizens of Pennsylvania the opportunity to vote on marriage. The votes of 8 Senators today denies them that opportunity.