HARRISBURG- The Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee today voted against legislation to amend the state constitution to ban same sex marriage. The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania hailed the vote as a victory for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in the commonwealth.
"The efforts to embed discrimination against LGBT people into our constitution have failed for a third time," said Andy Hoover, legislative director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, citing failed attempts to pass similar legislation in 2006 and 2008. "This committee today recognized that LGBT people are our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends, and our family members and that they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect."
Senate Bill 707, introduced by Senator John Eichelberger of Blair County, was tabled by an 8-6, bipartisan vote of the committee. Although Senate rules allow the bill to be considered again at any time, Hoover noted that it is unlikely that the bill will be brought up before the end of the 2010 legislative session.
"This vote today spoke loud and clear," Hoover said. "Members want to move on and address truly pressing issues for the people of Pennsylvania."
Committee members who voted for the motion to table SB 707 included Republicans Pat Browne, Jane Earll, and Mary Jo White and Democrats Daylin Leach, Lisa Boscola, Wayne Fontana, Michael Stack, and Jay Costa.