The future of marriage equality could come down to yet another proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania State Constitution that would define marriage between one man and one woman. Representative Daryl Metcalfe has again introduced an amendment that, if passed, would become the first of its kind to legislate discrimination.
“In the near future, I will be introducing legislation proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Pennsylvania providing for the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. My legislation is similar to a bill that passed the House in June 2006 by an overwhelming majority,” he drafted in a memo to the General Assembly.
His memo continues:
This constitutional amendment will eliminate confusion as to what constitutes a legal marriage, and it will also designate marriage as the only type of union that will be legally recognized in Pennsylvania. The language contained in my legislation is modeled after Florida’s marriage protection amendment, which was approved by more than 60 percent of Florida voters in 2008. To date, voters in 30 states have ratified similar amendments to their state constitution.
It is important that we support traditional marriage and have constitutional amendments to protect it at the state level. Marriage is a common good, not a special interest. Special interests should not have the right to redefine marriage for all of us.
In April of this year, Equality Pennsylvania stopped a similar effort to legislate discrimination into the state constitution. The group is asking Pennsylvanians who support LGBT rights (more than half of all Americans say they believe same-sex couples should have the right to marry) to speak up about this latest news, letting legislators know that marriage equality is an important step for LGBT Americans and Pennsylvanians.