News Release
For Immediate Release:  May 18, 2012
Contact:  Diane Gramley  1.814.271.9078 or 1.814.437.5355

Maryland Court of Appeals Decision Shows the Danger of Changing PA Human Relations Act

(Harrisburg) —  Today the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled unanimously in a homosexual ‘divorce’ case that Maryland must recognize same-sex so-called marriages performed in other states.   This action takes place as an effort to gather signatures on a petition to force a marriage referendum on the November ballot  is underway.  The American Family Association of Pennsylvania (AFA of PA) is again issuing a warning about the need to move HB 1434 through the House and to stop any effort to change the PA Human Relations Act to include “sexual orientation.”

Judge Glenn Harrell specifically notes in the opinion that Maryland has already passed laws that extend special protections to homosexuals in housing, employment and public accommodation.   Thus requiring Maryland to recognize same-sex “marriages” performed in other states is a logical next step for the court.  Unlike Maryland, Pennsylvania has a Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), but the Supreme Court in Iowa used a similar human relations law to strike down that state’s DOMA.  Legislators in Harrisburg need to wake up to the dangers posed in these court decisions.  Efforts to amend the PA Human Relations Act to include ‘sexual orientation’ is a step towards legalizing same-sex so-called marriages,” noted Diane Gramley, president of the AFA of PA.

The US Department of Justice (USDOJ) has become involved in a Pennsylvania case, filing a brief raising questions about the federal DOMA.  The Justice Department argued in December 2011 that passage of the Defense of Marriage Act “was motivated in significant part by animus towards gays and lesbians” — i.e., prejudice and hostility toward homosexuals.   More significantly USDOJ said DOMA should be reviewed under “heightened scrutiny” — a standard normally applied to laws that impact, for instance, race and sex.

“Such actions by the Justice Department should be sending red flags up in Harrisburg, but apparently the Republican leadership is asleep at the wheel.   The basic building block of our society is under attack by those who seek to redefine it and remake it in their image and no major action is taking place to protect marriage in PA,” Gramley continued.

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