A Pennsylvania state representative has
reintroduced a bill which seeks to recognize gay and lesbian couples
with civil unions in the state.
Rep. Mark Cohen, a Democrat from
Philadelphia, reintroduced his proposal last week. House Bill 708
has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
“Civil unions represent the
middle-of-the-road compromise position between constitutionally
banning and permitting gay marriage and have been embraced by both
advocates for LGBT rights and a growing number of conservatives,”
Cohen told The
“Nothing in this bill would require
any religious or any clergyman to perform any ceremony uniting people
in a civil union. This legislation will merely offer committed gay
couples the same legal rights that are bestowed upon married people
without the status of marriage,” he added.
Cohen previously introduced civil
unions legislation in 2010 and again last year.
“I intend to keep advocating this
because I believe in the obvious fact that gays have rights to
fundamental rights, and marriage is a fundamental right,” he said.
Six states currently offer the union:
Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Delaware.
Lawmakers in Illinois, Rhode Island and Delaware are considering
moving to marriage. Colorado's law takes effect next month. New
Jersey lawmakers approved a marriage law only to have it vetoed by
Governor Chris Christie. Advocates hope to override Christie's veto.