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Pennsylvania lawmaker introduces anti-gay marriage amendment

Friday, May 6, 2011
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A Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced a bill that would amend the state Constitution to define marriage as “the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife.”

The amendment, introduced in the state House by Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), would also state that “no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.”

Metcalfe said the institution of marriage is under attack.

“This not only includes the special interests who want to permanently redefine marriage,” said Metcalfe, “but unfortunately the executive branch and the federal Department of Justice have blatantly and recklessly refused to uphold and defend its constitutionality.”

Metcalfe is referring to the Feb. 23 announcement by the Obama administration that at least one part of DOMA — Section 3 — will not be able to pass constitutional muster, and that the Justice Department will not defend that part of the law in two pending cases in the federal court.

“Representative Metcalfe has introduced a bill that would divide us, goes against the growing majority of Americans’ beliefs on equal rights under law and would drive jobs and people out of Pennsylvania,” said State Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny) in a statement.

The bill to amend the Pennsylvania constitution would have to be approved in two consecutive sessions of the General Assembly before being put to voters in a ballot referendum.

A similar amendment is currently being considered in Minnesota.

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