July 10, 2013


ACLU Seeks to Redefine Marriage in Pennsylvania


As I’m sure you’ve heard, yesterday the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  This is something that the AFA of PA has warned about for years — without a Marriage Protection Amendment we are one lawsuit away from our DOMA being declared unconstitutional by an activist judge.   Click here to read our news release.

A little history:

In 2006 Pennsylvania joined many states in introducing a Marriage Protection Amendment (MPA).   Unlike many states, Pennsylvania’s Constitution  requires a more difficult path for constitutional amendments.  An identical bill must be passed in two consecutive legislative sessions before the amendment language can be presented to the people for a vote. We were almost successful when the House overwhelmingly passed the MPA bill  in early 2006 only to see the bill die in Senate Committee.  Since then there have only been faltering efforts and, unfortunately, in 2010 a weak one sentence amendment was introduced which would have allowed civil unions.  Homosexual activists acknowledge these partnerships are simply stepping stones for same-sex “marriage.”  In April, after introducing HB 1178 which would legalize civil unions, State Representative Daylin Leach said, “I think this [bill] is a stepping stone — [marriage equality] might be possible someday, but as of right now, this is a stepping stone.”  The AFA of PA could not support the 2010 MPA effort because of its weak language.

For the past two legislative sessions State Representative Daryl Metcalfe has introduced a strong two-part amendment with language modeled after Florida’s amendment which passed with 61% of the vote.  Even though we have a Republican Governor, Republican State House and State Senate, there apparently is no courage to take on the Pennsylvania homosexual lobby and their allies in an effort to protect one man one woman marriage here in the Commonwealth.  Few House members even have the courage to sign on as a co-sponsor to this session’s MPA — HB 1349.    In Indiana, last month’s Supreme Court decision immediately brought a response from their Speaker of the House that the MPA would be on the ballot in 2014.  Where’s the leadership from Pennsylvania’s Speaker of the House Sam Smith, Majority Leader Mike Turzai and Senate Pro Tempora Joe Scarnati?   Governor Corbett says he supports a MPA, but has not used his position to push one.   There is no reason this bill cannot advance, it only takes the leadership necessary to do what’s right.

Action Steps

1.)  Contact your State Representative and ask him or her:  “Do you support one man one woman marriage?”   If the answer is ‘yes,’ then ask him or her to prove it and sign onto HB 1349 as a co-sponsor.  The issue is very clear:  either they support real marriage and will take the steps to protect it or they support same-sex “marriage.”  Their action or lack thereof speaks volumes on the issue of marriage.  (see below for contact info)

2.)  Your State Senator and State Representative are in their district offices for their summer break until September 23rd.  Call and make an appointment to speak with them about this issue.  If you don’t know who your State Rep and State Senator is, click here.

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