The following is re-posted from “On Top Magazine“:
Pennsylvania Lawmakers To Mull Gay Marriage Ban
By Carlos Santoscoy
Published: January 27, 2010
Eichelberger announced the effort last May during a press conference held on the steps of the Blair County Courthouse in Hollidaysburg. The freshman senator represents Pennsylvania’s 30th district, which includes Blair County. Introduction of the bill was postponed due to the economy, Eichelberger said.
“Pennsylvania voters have the opportunity to decide how they want marriage to be defined and not allow an activist judge to make that decision for them,” the Republican senator said in a statement. “Thirty one other states have already gone through a similar process and in each state, the definition of marriage was upheld.”
The joint resolution introduced Tuesday enjoys the support of 15 co-sponsors. It would insert the following language into the state constitution: “Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid and recognized as a marriage in this Commonwealth.”
Amending Pennsylvania’s constitution requires the approval of two consecutive legislative sessions, followed by the approval of voters. The earliest voters could see the issue on the ballot is 2011.
Passage in the Republican-controlled Senate appears to be a given, but the proposal might encounter turbulence from Democratic leaders in the House, who control the chamber.
Pennsylvania voters – like much of the country – are clearly divided on the issue. According to a June, 2009 Franklin & Marshall statewide poll, 48% of respondents support defining marriage as a heterosexual union in the state constitution, while 46% said they were opposed. However, a majority of voters (58%) support civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.
Currently, Pennsylvania bans gay marriage by law, which anti-gay marriage foes say leaves the law vulnerable to being overturned by a judge.