A Pennsylvania House panel on Tuesday
will consider a resolution that seeks to ban gay marriage in the
The House State Government Committee
will take up the issue when it meets at 9AM at the Capital.
Representative Daryl Metcalfe's
proposal would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to ban recognition
of any “substantial equivalent” to heterosexual marriage. The
Republican lawmaker introduced his measure last year.
“The institution of traditional
marriage has never been under greater attack,” Metcalfe said in
introducing the amendment. “This not only includes the special
interests who want to permanently redefine marriage, but
unfortunately the executive branch and the federal Department of
Justice who have blatantly and recklessly refused to uphold and
defend its constitutionality. Once again, it falls to the
responsibility of state lawmakers to restore the rule of law and
carry out the will of the people.”
The question could appear on the 2013
ballot, if approved by two consecutive sessions of the Legislature.
The measure is almost certain to clear
the panel, which is chaired by Metcalfe.
Nearly 3,000 people have signed an
Equality Pennsylvania petition calling on lawmakers to drop the
amendment and focus on economic issues instead.
In 2010, three Republican senators
crossed the aisle to help defeat a similar measure sponsored by
Senator John H. Eichelberger, Jr.
Currently, Pennsylvania bans gay
marriage by law. Opponents say the institution remains vulnerable to
a legal challenge without a constitutional amendment.
Voters in two states, North Carolina
and Minnesota, will consider similar amendments this year.