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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: January 16, 2013 12:55 PM
From: Senator Daylin Leach
To: All Senate members
Subject: Marriage Equality
In the near future, I am going to be re-introducing a bill providing for full, equal marriage rights for same-sex couples in Pennsylvania. Several states have legalized same-sex marriage and many more will shortly follow suit. There has never been a more propitious time for Pennsylvania to embrace equality and enshrine the civil right of all Pennsylvanians to marry.

This bill will entitle gay and lesbian couples to all of the rights, and demand of them all of the responsibilities, of marriage. It will eliminate all of the barriers to forming a family that flow from the current prohibition on same-sex marriage, both at the state and federal level. This bill will also require the recognition of same-sex marriages conducted in other states where such marriages are legal.

Nothing in this bill will require any religious institution to perform or recognize any marriage, involving any gender, that they do not wish to sanction.

The alternative to legalizing same-sex marriage is retaining our current, archaic protocol which treats an entire class of citizens as second-class. This denies the reality of same-sex families, many of which have children. It provides no vehicle by which society can encourage gay couples to do what it encourages straight couples to do; namely form permanent, monogamous and committed life-long partnerships. In short, there is no reasonable alternative, which is why this bill is so important at this time.

Introduced as SB719