What do you think of that headline?

It is the headline taken from the Family Institute web site. This is the perspective of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, the far right conservative, anti-gay group. Their goal with SB 707, the bill that would have amended the PA Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman, was to get the issue before the voters. They believed that like in California and Maine, when put to the voters, it would pass (deny same-sex marriage).

My take on that is because when the issue is put before the voter, it is easy for groups like the Family Institute to spread lies and misinformation and stir up so much fear! I think in most cases, if the fear mongering didn’t happen, we would see same-sex marriage, and most al LGBTQ Rights bills pass just fine.

So far, however, no state-wide group has had a successful presence and ability to combat the lies and misinformation. but that is taking me off on a tangent…. Back to the headline in question.

Not only is it a lie (and don’t these religious types know that bearing false witness is a sin?) but it misses the point entirely. Even if this bill had made it out of committee to the Senate, it wouldn’t mean that anyone would have ever got to vote on anything.

Those in favor of protecting the PA Constitution from discrimination picked up a few votes which allowed us this win over SB 707, and now, those Senators are really getting some heat for it! The far-right conservatives are going out of their way to make trouble. And we need your help!

Your Help Is Needed Now!

Call the 8 senators who voted to table SB 707. They are listed below or you can find their district office numbers on thomascwaters.com in this post from Tuesday. Thank them for standing up against discrimination. This is probably more important than any call or letter you may have written before the vote! We need to let them know that they have our support!

It’s a sad day in Harrisburg as marriage in Pennsylvania continues to remain vulnerable to redefinition. The 14 Senators of the Judiciary Committee halted the advancement of the marriage amendment this year by an 8-6 decision that goes against your voice and the majority of citizens in our state.

via pafam- 8 Senators Tell PA: “No, You May Not Vote”.

3 Comments

  1. Dan,
    I need to revise my earlier reply just a bit. i listed 13 steps and actually it is at least 4 more than that. The bill would have to go through at least 2 committees in the senate and 2 committees in the house, so that raises the number of places for the bill to be slowed or stopped to 17 at least.

    Additionally, I want to be clear: What I called a lie was the headline on the PA Family Institute's post. The PA Family Institute claimed that these 8 Senators told the residents of PA “You may not vote” and like, expressed here, they put it in quote marks , claiming that it was a direct quote. That is a bold faced lie, and I have no problems calling it what it is. Did the committee action halt the process of taking this to the voters? Possibly yes, but that isn't what the headline said. Too bad. If that had been the headline, it would have been far more honest, and I wouldn't have said anything about it.

  2. Thanks for leaving a comment Dan. Yes, it is a lie and fear mongering to label the actions of the Judicial committee as was done in the headline for the post I was commenting in. The PA Family Institute claimed that these 8 Senators told the residents of PA “You can not vote” and like, expressed here, they put it in quote marks , claiming that it was a direct quote. That is a bold faced lie, and I have no problems calling it what it is. Did the committee action halt the process of taking this to the voters? Possibly yes, but that isn't what the headline said. Too bad. If that had been the headline, it would have been far more honest, and I wouldn't have said anything about it.

    The bill was only tabled, so that it could be taken off the table, but more directly, to label the bill as stopping a vote is too simplistic and fails to address that many steps would be needed before this would be put before the voters. If the PA Family Institute headline or article had acknowledged even a bit of that, I wouldn't have a problem with it, but to imply that this one vote in committee robs the registered voters of PA of their right to vote is ludicrous and fallacious.

    It is fear mongering, because the article didn't “state the process to amend the Constitution.” It impllied that this committee action was solely responsible for keeping it out of the hands of the voters, and that just isn't true, i.e. a lie; i.e. bearing false witness, which is a sin.

    For this to come before the PA residents for a vote, all of the following would have to happen:
    1) Passed out of the Judiciary Committee
    2) Discussed and approved by the full Senate.
    3) Introduced in the House.
    4) Taken up by a House Committee.
    5) Voted out of a House committee to the full House.
    6) Discussed and approved by the full House.
    7) Sit and wait until 1 general election passes (some believe it might be 2 general elections, but at least 1)
    8) Be introduced into the Senate again.
    9) Be approved by a Senate committee again.
    10) Be discussed and approved by the full Senate, again.
    11) Be introduced to the House, again.
    12) Be approved by a House committee again.
    13) Be discussed and approved by the full House, again.

    In terms of timing, it would take at the very least 2-3 calendar years, and could be as many as 6 calendar years, depending upon the definition of “session” for the Senate and House. Because it has to be introduced in 2 subsequent sessions. A session lasts 2 years, unless session is understood as being a single calendar year.

    The 8 Senators who voted to table the bill did slow the process of getting to a vote by the registered voters of the state, but they didn't stop it. At the very worst they provided 1/13 of what would be needed to stop it.

    I have no bias against anyone opposing my views. I am only being critical of the language used to describe the reality of what actually took place.

    Our democratic system of government allows for people of differing views to introduce legislation and a system for handling that. I believe that the system worked. Democracy prevailed and that is a good thing.

    It should be noted that this is the third time a bill such as this has been introduced, and the third time it has failed to get out of a committee and move forward to the full PA Senate, even in a committee where conservatives are in control. That says a lot about process, and policy.

    Personally, I would have preferred to see the bill totally killed and voted down in committee, but I believe the Judiciary committee acted fairly by tabling the bill. This shows that there are more important issues facing the state, like a need to get into and pass a budget on time, and focus on Jobs, employment and other issues that affect every single resident of the state.

    Dan,
    I'm always glad to see diverse views shared here on my blog. Thanks for posting!

  3. So its a lie to say that the marriage amendment was halted because of this vote? It's a lie to say that passing SB 707, a Constitutional Amendment, would ultimately put the issue to a vote of the people and by not passing the bill therefore won't give the people a vote?

    Seems like your argument here is pretty shallow and shows the bias against anyone opposing your views. If its “fear mongering” to state the process of amending the Constitution, I'd say we're not in America anymore.

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