A resolution that seeks to ban gay
marriage in Pennsylvania was introduced on Monday.
Republican Representative Daryl
Metcalfe's proposal would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to ban
recognition of any “substantial equivalent” to heterosexual
“The institution of traditional
marriage has never been under greater attack,” Metcalfe said in a
statement. “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 was forwarded to the House
State Government Committee, which Metcalfe chairs, and enjoys the
support of 35 House Republicans, including Metcalfe, and one
Democrat, R. Ted Harhai.
Last year, 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.
According to a report by the Human
Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights advocate, a
slim majority of Pennsylvania voters (51%) support marriage equality.
Also considering a similar amendment
are lawmakers in Indiana, Minnesota
and North Carolina. A push in Iowa, where gay marriage was legalized
in 2009, died this year in Iowa.