Liberal democracy just took another hit!
Pennsylvania’s Senatorial Appropriations Committee today voted 18-8 to put a gay marriage amendment to a vote, which will likely happen tomorrow. Many of you are probably thinking, “Wait, doesn’t Pennsylvania already have a law banning same-sex marriage?”
Well, yes; yes, it does, but conservative politicians think that an amendment’s needed to ensure nothing like civil unions can be legalized. Because even pseudo-queer-equality’s yucky!
The amendment reads thus: “No union other than a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as marriage or the functional equivalent of marriage by the commonwealth.” Baaarf!
As can be expected, gay activists and progressive politicians protested today’s Committee passage:
Among the legislators who spoke at the rally was Sen. Vincent Fumo, D-Philadelphia, who said, “When the basic human rights are threatened, then no one’s rights are safe.” Sen. Connie Williams, D-Montgomery, noted, “Pennsylvania’s constitution was never intended to be a tool that restricts people’s rights.”
Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, said he was taught in school that the constitution was put there to protect individuals’ rights, so “it takes a lot of chutzpah to talk about putting discrimination into the constitution of Pennsylvania.”
You know shit’s serious when Frankel breaks out the yiddish.
The Senate will vote tomorrow and, if the amendment passes, it will go back to the house, then the Senate, then the House and, finally, the voters will get a crack at it. At least deconstructing democracy’s not as easy as some would like, right. Although that does nothing to ease our uneasiness.
I always thought Pennsylvania was a fairly liberal state? What are the chances of this destructive bill passing?
The rights of a minority should never be chosen by the majority. That’s the whole point of representative government. The people are too stupid to vote for what is best for the country.
Not to sound, you know, elitist or anything..
Every single “right” in our Constitution was voted on by the people.
@ CitizenGeek …
I would say Pennsylvania is generally moderate — but, the commonwealth legislature is governed by mostly conservatives (both repugs and dems)
Thankfully, my representative from Pittsburgh is liberal, and doesn’t support this nonsense!
As for it passing… here’s a snippet from the PIttsburgh POst Gazette:
“if the Senate approves the bill, it likely will go to the House State Government Committee, which is headed by Rep. Babette Josephs, D-Philadelphia, who strongly opposes it.
Asked if she can kill it in committee, she said, “We’ll see.”
Fritz, the constitution was drafted and ratified by delegates from the 13 states (55 men).
Actually, most of PA is quite socially conservative – most folks who vote Democrat here do so because they’re members of labor unions or otherwise associated with blue collar industries.
And, to emphasize Kid A’s point, the rights we have now were voted on by white, property owning men. Incidentally, they really only applied to white men for quite some time, if you’ll recall … so we maybe shouldn’t romanticize the history of liberal rights in the U.S.
We need a judge to say “equal protection”.
If “equal protection” requires that same-sex couples must be given the same protections as opposite-sex couples, then either all couples may marry, or no couples may marry.
If they pass an amendment that same-sex couples may not marry, and then a judge says “equal protection”, the state could well be enjoined from recognizing any marriage whatever.
The unintended consequence of denying recognition to certain couples could be that they must deny that same recognition to all couples.
Governor Ed Rendell said in his speech on Saturday night at the EQuality Forum that he would veto this bill. There was no mention that maybe the legistlature could override this veto but that is usually very difficult.
I think that they can get around equal protection, saying that the protection applies to a man and woman, not two men. I don’t know what precidence there is but it would be a hell of a place to set one.
Understandably, these are Clinton people. go figure.
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