Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dueling marriage bills in Penn.

Dueling marriage bills in Penn. | News Story on
(Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania has become the latest same-sex marriage battleground, with the legislature being pushed to pass both a marriage equality bill and one that would bar gays from marrying.

Sen. Daylin Leach (D) announced the marriage equality bill on Wednesday.

“There has never been a more propitious time for Pennsylvania to
embrace equality and enshrine the civil right of all Pennsylvanians to
marry,” Leach told reporters.

The bill would provide “full and equal marriage rights to same-sex
couples in Pennsylvania,” said Leach. But it would not force churches
to conduct ceremonies or recognize same-sex marriages against church

The legislation also would recognize same-sex marriages conducted in other areas where they are legal.

Earlier this month, Republican state Sen. John Eichelberger filed a
bill to amend the state constitution to limit marriage to opposite-sex

The state already has a so-called Defense of Marriage law limiting
marriage to opposite-sex couples, but Eichelberger said the law could
be overturned by a judge.  Only through a constitutional amendment
could the intent of the law be carried out without “judicial

A similar proposed amendment was pulled last year, just hours before
the state Senate was expected to approve it. The measure would have
banned same-sex marriage and civil unions.

While it was likely to pass the Senate, the amendment was equally
likely to have died in the House. An attempt to move the amendment in
2006 also failed....

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