Today in the House Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee, Representative Ralph M. Foley (R-Martinsville) presented a motion that would allow Senate Joint Resolution 7, the Defense of Marriage Constitutional Amendment, to be allowed a 3rd Reading vote by the end of session, April 29th. Under House rules, all bills must have passed a 3rd Reading vote by April 10. The democrat controlled committee abruptly adjourned without acting on the motion.
“As a former Chairman of the Rules Committee, I couldn’t help but note that when the committee previously voted on SJR 7 it neither passed, nor failed, but resulted in a 5-5 tie,” said Foley. “I asked the committee to follow the rule book and requested that the measure be reconsidered for debate before the committee adjourned. I did not anticipate an immediate adjournment, leaving work undone.
“I believe it is important that we address this amendment with full discussion. Two years ago 76 state representatives voted for the amendment receiving overwhelming bipartisan support. I am unsure the course of action the majority will take, but I can assure this will not deter the legislature from enacting important legislation such as property tax reform, getting a fully balanced honest budget and other important work before the General Assembly in these remaining days.”
It is a pretty sad statement of the thinking within the House GOP caucus to be pursing the mean-spirited amendment at a time when the legislature is pressed with addressing serious issues, such as the budget, property tax reform and funding health insurance for the uninsured. For Foley to suggest this last-ditch effort would "not deter the legislature from enacting important legislation" is disingenuous on his part. How pathetic that the House GOP would rather turn the last week of the legislative session into a train wreck for no other reason than to express homobigotry.