Politics

Republicans refuse to repeal law that says books about gay topics are obscene

A sad gay teen with a tiny rainbow flag
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Democratic lawmakers in Pennsylvania are livid that Republicans voted down an attempt to remove homosexuality from the state’s obscenity statute.

The law bans “the distribution to minors of materials such as books, pictures, and videos which depict ‘acts of homosexuality,'” according to the memo attached to H.B. 1279, which would remove homosexuality from the state’s obscenity law.

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The bill, sponsored by Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Zabel (D), was voted down yesterday in the state House. Democrats in the Republican-controlled chamber are speaking out, denouncing their Republicans who voted to keep homosexuality on the obscenity law.

“Put simply the PA GOP is fine with homosexuality being considered a crime,” tweeted out Pennsylvania Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D).

“This shouldn’t have been remotely controversial,” said Zabel. “I’m sorry we didn’t get it through, but we won’t stop trying.”

Out state Rep. Brian Sims (D) called out his Republican colleagues for using procedural means to kill the bill and blamed their “rampant homophobia” for keeping homosexuality in the state’s obscenity law.

“May you never have to see your colleagues vote to keep the ways you love a ‘crime,'” he tweeted.

“This is an issue of basic equality. We won’t give up this fight,” said Pennsylvania Sen. Tim Kearney (D).

Zabel said that he was inspired to repeal the anti-gay law when a town in his district did the same.

“Recently, one of the municipalities I represent, Upper Darby Township, repealed a similar decades-old ordinance and, upon further review, it was discovered that Pennsylvania has such a statue still on the books,” he said. Twenty-three of his colleagues co-sponsored the bill.

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