Gay Marriage | News | Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Senate to Vote on Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Yesterday, a Pennsylvania Senate committee voted 18-8 to send Senate Bill 1250, which would place a measure on the ballot banning same-sex marriage, to the full Senate for a vote. The measure must be approved in two consecutive legislative sessions for it to be placed on the ballot.

PennsylvaniaFollowing the vote, lawmakers attended a boisterous rally against the ban in the Capitol:

"Senate Bill 1250, which is meant to bolster the state's 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which already prohibits same-sex marriage, "is disheartening and discriminatory," said Sen. Jim Ferlo, D-Highland Park. 'It's marriage mischief -- an attempt to enshrine bigotry in the state constitution,' he told an angry crowd of 200 protesters gathered in the Capitol rotunda. 'Politicians always want to get into your wallet, but now many politicians, some Democrats as well as Republicans, want to get into your bedroom.' Other opponents of the constitutional amendment included Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Squirrel Hill, and Democratic Sens. Vincent Fumo of Philadelphia and Connie Williams of Delaware County. 'When the basic rights of any group are threatened, then no one's rights are safe,' said Mr. Fumo, amid echoing chants of 'Stop this bill! Stop this bill!'...'Freedom is at risk in the bill,' said Mr. Fumo, whose South Philadelphia district includes considerable numbers of gay and lesbian voters. 'It's possible this legislative body could embed discrimination in our constitution by taking away the rights of a group of people based on their sexuality.'"

UPDATE: The Senate has tabled the bill, as it sees no chance of it passing in the House.

AFTER THE JUMP, a news report from NBC10 on the vote and rally...

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  1. One lawmaker is striking back, proposing outlawing divorce:

    Posted by: RJ | May 6, 2008 5:25:33 PM

  2. And then the whole amendment fell apart. Hooray!

    Posted by: RJ | May 6, 2008 7:32:14 PM

  3. Kudos to the law-maker who pointed out (pointedly!) that divorce is the greatest threat to marriage. I don't know why this hasn't been tried before. "What Senator, you don't want to end divorce? Why are you trying to break down the institution of marriage? Shocking!" Really, what's their comeback?

    Posted by: gregnsf | May 6, 2008 10:05:05 PM

  4. CA voters will have an opportunity to enshrine one-man-one-woman marriage in their state constitution in November.

    Posted by: queendru | May 7, 2008 7:20:17 AM

  5. As my father was dying in a hospital in Lebanon, PA (near where he grew up), my husband and I went to visit him and help him through his last days. Donald was introduced to hospital staff as my husband and no one batted an eye (except for the Mennonite CNA who wanted to check to make sure I hadn't said "brother"). They all treated him as part of the family.

    I hope that PA's record of personal freedom is maintained for the long haul.

    Posted by: David R. | May 7, 2008 3:45:24 PM

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