The Republican-majority Senate Judiciary Committee voted 8-6 to table a bill introduced by Sen. John Eichelberger (R) to amend the constitution to define marriage as being between a man and woman only.
The vote came before a packed hearing room without debate.
Committee Chairman Stewart Greenleaf (R) said he brought the bill up for a vote, even though he was uncertain it would pass, to let members express their opinion on it. He called the vote a referendum on gay marriage, and said the measure would not come up again this session.
Three republicans crossed the aisle to defeat the bill. Opponents of the bill called the vote a victory for gay rights.