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Marriage Equality Bill Introduced in Pennsylvania by Gay Rep. Brian Sims: VIDEO

Lovepark

Making good on their previously announced plans to make same-sex marriage legal in Pennsylvania, out gay state representative Brian Sims and fellow representative Steve McCarter today announced the introduction of H.B. 1686, the Pennsylvania Marriage Equality Act. The announcement was made, quite fittingly, at Love Park in Philadelphia:

Brian“The majority of Pennsylvanians now support marriage equality, and that support continues to grow,” Sims said. “Neighboring states, including New York, Maryland and Delaware, have all decided to be on the right side of history and have granted equal rights to their LGBT citizens. The time has come for Pennsylvania’s legislature to stand up and let our citizens know we see them as truly equal members of society and they have the right to choose whom they marry.

“With the Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act, it became apparent that Pennsylvania cannot continue to be stuck in the past. This is a civil rights issue facing our LGBT community. Furthermore, this issue is holding back Pennsylvania’s economy. People and businesses are seeing states that have true marriage equality as more attractive to them, and they’re spending their money in those states. This lack of equality is holding us back. Where are we at in our government where you lose rights by crossing a border?”

Sims and McCarter have been gathering co-sponsors and have received bipartisan support for H.B. 1686.

“This goes beyond simply legalizing gay marriage,” McCarter said. “This is about ensuring all Pennsylvanians have equal benefits and protections before the law. Marriage equality and the benefits associated with it need to be afforded to all of our citizens, and the people of Pennsylvania support that idea. The issue is getting our fellow legislators to listen to their constituents and the voice of Pennsylvanians who are calling for this bill to proceed.”

“An ever-growing majority of Pennsylvanians now agree that all consenting adults should be able to make life-long commitments to the ones they love,” said Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, co-chairman of the legislature’s LGBT Equality Caucus. “I believe the institution is strengthened when families – gay and straight – can choose the rights and responsibilities of civil marriage.”

McCarter“We’re in a situation now where we’re galvanized,” McCarter added. “The ruling on DOMA made it apparent that marriage equality is the correct direction for Pennsylvania to follow. With a companion bill in the Senate, there is no better time for Pennsylvanians to contact their legislators and tell them now is the time to act. We can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines and watch as the rest of the country evolves to accept what should already be state law.”

Rep. Sims also recently introduced legislation that would ban gay conversion therapy for minors in Pennsylvania.

The introduction of The Pennsylvania Marriage Equality Act comes amidst a legal battle over same-sex marriage in the Keystone State, stemming from Montgomery County Register of Wills Bruce Hanes's decision to grant same-sex couples marriage licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted section 3 of DOMA in United States v. Windsor. Though a judge ruled that Hanes must stop issuing licenses to same-sex couples given the state's ban on same-sex marriage, Democratic county officials are appealing the decision.

Watch a video of Reps. Sims and McCarter making their historic announcement
AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. How can a man be so beautiful, both inside and outside?

    Posted by: litper | Oct 3, 2013 3:50:32 PM


  2. Awesome. There is something fascinating about a man who stands strong for what he believes.

    Posted by: Jay | Oct 3, 2013 3:57:32 PM


  3. Is this the 4th -- or 5th -- news story and photos you've had about Rep. Sims in the past few weeks? I don't know him at all, never met him, etc, but Towleroad sure gives me a lot of coverage.

    Eventually marriage equality will come in PA, the sooner the better. If it's sooner, it's going to be by court order, not legislation. There is ZERO chance that the Republican controlled state legislature and Republican governor are going to let this happen while they are in control. So right now, this bill is just grand-standing. Nice photos.

    On the other hand, someone had to introduce a bill on this issue at some point. So OK, now it's been done.

    Posted by: MiddleoftheRoader | Oct 3, 2013 4:24:32 PM


  4. There's something tacky about every story about Brian Sims including references to how stunning and gorgeous he is, either in the article or the comments. Maybe one day we can stop being over-sexed freaks and appreciate a person for their accomplishments, not their sex appeal.

    Posted by: Dan | Oct 3, 2013 5:02:43 PM


  5. Thank you, Dan. However, after seeing Brian Sim's avid support of a log cabin republican (who is obviously filled with self hate), I lost the crush.

    Posted by: Gabe | Oct 3, 2013 5:15:47 PM


  6. Dan, you get a 3-point penalty for overreaction. As of this moment, there is no comment on Brian's looks in the article, and in the comments a grand total of one (1) brief remark that he is "beautiful, inside and outside." And you think that is oversexed? Feeling a wee bit jealous?

    Posted by: RussTX | Oct 3, 2013 5:17:27 PM


  7. how awesome is that photo where they make the announcement in front of the LOVE sculpture in jfk plaza!

    Posted by: jed | Oct 3, 2013 6:02:13 PM


  8. How can they disrespect the "LOVE" logo? Love has nothing to do with it. It's a brain chemical reaction that wears off. That's when the real challenge of marriage begins.

    Posted by: Dan | Oct 3, 2013 6:19:46 PM


  9. Sadly, I'm not so hopeful for PA. While in the Northeast, it's not as progressive as many of its neighbors.

    Much of the middle of the state is more like the Midwest. Nascar, guns, etc. And Philadelphia has a large population of uneducated, ignorant voters.

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 3, 2013 6:21:57 PM


  10. I'll comment on Sim's looks, since everyone knows he's a helluvva legislator: if he created some sort of shirtless calendar, he could earn enough money to finance his re-election in a heartbeat.

    Posted by: Dback | Oct 3, 2013 7:01:39 PM


  11. I first remember reading about Sims when he came out as gay while he was co-captain of his college football team. He said that it was a very positive experience and went on to do some public speaking around the state at high schools and business events after graduation. He basically wanted everyone to know that gay is okay.

    Now he is continuing his good work in the public sector. What a great guy.

    Posted by: Scott | Oct 3, 2013 8:11:35 PM


  12. Congratulations on your momentous achievement, Congressman Sims! Let's celebrate by spending a long, naked weekend together.

    Hang in there, Dan. Fat and ugly works for some guys, believe it or not. You'll find somebody eventually.

    Here's a hint: Try to downplay the insufferable bitterness when you go out on first dates. Like your gut, you should let that out gradually.

    Posted by: FFS | Oct 3, 2013 11:55:08 PM


  13. "Try to downplay the insufferable bitterness...Like your gut, you should let that out gradually."

    HA! We have a winner!

    Posted by: Tatts | Oct 4, 2013 8:33:35 AM


  14. Having the prospect of major success as a future leader requires a certain amount of charisma. Never discount how shallow Americans are in this regard (gay or straight). So, with good looks and nice articulation of the issues, Sims may have a future worth noting. He caught my eye. It's true, but it wasn't merely on account of the physical.

    Posted by: CAnaive | Oct 4, 2013 11:03:10 PM


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