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Pennsylvania lawmaker introduces anti-gay marriage bill

Pennsylvania lawmaker introduces anti-gay marriage bill

Pennsylvania State Sen. John H. Eichelberger Jr., has introduced a bill to institute a ban on same-sex marriage in the state constitution, making good on a promise announced last year, reports the Philadelphia Gay News.

SB 707, which Eichelberger introduced earlier this week, would add to the Pennsylvania Constitution the language: “Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid and recognized as marriage.”

Eichelberger, a Republican, announced his intention to spearhead such an initiative in May 2009. Democratic Sen. Daylin Leach shortly thereafter introduced a measure that seeks to legalize same-sex marriage in the Keystone State.

To amend the constitution, both chambers of the state legislature would have to pass the so-called Marriage Protection Amendment in two consecutive sessions before the question is posed to voters.

“Pennsylvania voters have the opportunity to decide how they want marriage to be defined and not allow an activist judge to make that decision for them,” Eichelberger said in a statement Tuesday. “Thirty-one other states have already gone through a similar process and in each state, the definition of marriage was upheld.”

Even if successful, any marriage amendments before state legislatures could soon be moot, as the federal case challenging California’s Proposition 8 could eventually bring the constitutionality of same-sex marriage to the U.S. Supreme Court — whose ruling would take precedence across the nation.

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