Main | Friday, June 05, 2009

Dueling Marriage Bills In PA Senate

On Wednesday, Pennsylvania state Sen. Daylin Leach (D) introduced a marriage equality bill as a Republican state Senator introduced a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
Hoping to capture the pro-gay-marriage momentum in other state legislatures, Sen. Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery) yesterday introduced the state's first bill to legalize same-sex marriage. Meanwhile, a colleague across the aisle, Sen. John Eichelberger (R., Blair), is preparing to introduce a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage, to prevent court decisions, such as the recent one in Iowa, allowing gay people the right to marry. Leach said denying gay Pennsylvanians the right to marry robs them of the fundamental equal rights that heterosexual couples enjoy, such as the right of survivorship, power to make medical decisions, even the right to hospital visitation.
Sen. Leach says he considers his pro-marriage bill to be merely symbolic, acknowledging that Pennsylvania is likely years away passing such an item. Gov. Edward Rendell, a Democrat, favors civil unions only and would likely veto Leach's bill, if by some miracle it passed. Rendell would have no such say in a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, as such amendments must by approved by voters and only after passing two consecutive legislative sessions.

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