State Senator Seeks Ban on Same-Sex Marriage in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania State Senator John Eichelberger is holding a news conference today to announce the introduction of a bill banning same-sex marriage there, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports:

Eichelberger "Similar measures in the last two sessions of the legislature have failed. Pennsylvania law defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. But Eichelberger and other proponents of the amendment say writing the
ban into the constitution would prevent a judge from overturning the
law. Opponents say the measure would enshrine discrimination into the constitution. Amending the constitution requires approval from both the House and
Senate in two consecutive two-year sessions before the measure goes to
voters for final approval in a statewide referendum."

The Philadelphia Daily News notes that the enviornment in PA makes it much less likely that marriage equality will make it there anytime soon: "…though pundits based here expect a day when gay marriage will gain
approval in Pennsylvania – thanks to the overwhelming support for the
practice among voters younger than 40 – they say that any real movement
could be closer to a decade away because of the state's unique
demographic factors. These experts note that Pennsylvania is still one of the three
oldest states in the country, with disapproval of gay marriage still
running high among seniors. The state is also heavily Catholic, they
note, and home to other populations, including conservative religious
sects in central Pennsylvania, as well as African-Americans here in
Philadelphia, who trend toward higher gay-marriage-disapproval ratings."


  1. JohnInManhattan says

    One thing we know is that Eichelberger can count on Barack “God is in the mix!” Obama for support.

  2. shane says

    I am amazed at how many people are willing to write discrimination into our laws. Substitute black, asian, hispanic, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, etc. for “gay” in these bans and there would be mobs in the street protesting.

  3. Ed says

    My understanding is that there is very little political will to push this kind of amendment through at this time in the Commonwealth. While Pennsylvania does have conservative portions, the legislature is not interested in rocking the boat on this one.

  4. alex in boston says

    Great another GOP COUP over Gay Marriage! Christ don’tcha think there are more important issues faces PA?????

  5. CK says

    Surpriiiiiise… more GOP narrow-mindedness springs to the fore! Come on PA, give this fool a political smack-down. Tell him you are not part of his cadre of haters. Remind him even more soundly, how these measures were TWICE before voted down. Slowly but surely we will weed out these naysayers and get the country solidly on the road to good progressive EQUALITY!

  6. JohnInManhattan says

    Never mind equality, our mere existence is enough to send them into hysterics. Their goal is the complete annihilation of gay people. 0 recognition, 0 benefits, 0 respect, 0 dignity. In the face of all this sickening hatred we have a press secretary that avoids answering any gay-related questions and a President that claims “God is the mix!” as an excuse for his bigotry and opposition to marriage equality.

    I know, I know, at least its not Palin, but its outrageous nonetheless.

  7. woodroad34 says

    I’m confused, just because something’s written into the constitution, it’s automatically above any, and every, thing? And a judge, a co-branch of government, is refrained from doing anything about it? I was under the impression that something written into a constitution at a later time could be still be ruled “unconstitutional”.

  8. beachstud69 says

    What an asshole! just when I was getting ready to go to Manhunt’s “Single’s Week” in Puerto Vallarta to find myself a husband, This guy is trying to ruin my marriage plans! Let’s bring him down!!!

  9. Disgusted American says

    anyone out there with ANY info on this asshole Eichelberger….Come forward…anything! This asshole will NOT get away with trying to turn Pa. into a hateful bigoted state! As a lifelong Philadelphia..I’ll fight it tooth and nail!

  10. Jeff says

    Fortunately, the Dems control the State House (by 1 vote) and Rendell is Governor, so this bill is going nowhere in 2009; now for 2010, I worry.

  11. John says

    I live in PA also. There aren’t the votes to pass this bill but they will keep trying. It’s frustrating the amount of money that has to be spent each time these brainless tools bring this issue up.

  12. equality, schmquality! says

    Just wait long enough and Eichelberger will go by the same exit as Haggard! Why do these people not like equality for all, just for some? If you dont believe in same-sex marriage, dont marry a member of your same sex! its as easy as that. Do we think the GLBT movement is holding an involuntary draft to marry? People who say “I dont believe in same-sex marriage” just announces that they are not going to marry a person of the same sex. You are not being forced, you are not being asked to attend the ceremony, you are not required to purchase the couple a wedding gift… it has no bearing whatsoever on any one person who opposes same-sex marriage.