PA Senate To Vote On Marriage Ban
The Pennsylvania Senate will vote today on the issue of placing a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage on the 2009 ballot. The proposed amendment passed a committee review yesterday. If approved in the Senate, the bill will go to the House for approval and then must be approved again in the next session of the legislature before it can go on the ballot.
Marriage is presently restricted to opposite-sex couples in Pennsylvania, but conservatives are worried that a more precise definition of marriage is required to prevent judges from overturning the first law.
Following the committee vote LGBT rights groups and their supporters demonstrated inside the Capitol, shouting "Stop this bill."
"Pennsylvania's constitution was never intended to be a tool that restricts people's rights," state Sen. Connie Williams (D) told the protestors. v"When the basic human rights are threatened then no one's rights are safe," said Sen. VIncent Fumo (D). Both Fumo and Williams said they would vote against the measure when it comes before the Senate.
Rep. Dan Frankel (D) vowed a fight in the House. "It takes a lot of chutzpah to talk about putting discrimination into the constitution of Pennsylvania," he told the protesters.