Sunday, July 02, 2006

PA anti-gay marriage amendment is dead!

Late last night the PA State House adjourned for summer recess without voting on the PA Anti-Marriage Amendment. The House Republicans failed to agree on how the language of the amendment ought to go. Back on June 6 the House voted in favor of an Amendment that included language that would have prohibited civil unions and domestic partnerships. On June 21 the State Senate voted in favor of another version of the amendment that would only prohibit same-sex marriages. The Bill then had to return to the State House for the House to concurr with the Senate changes. There the House Republicans failed to reach a consensus on the issue -some supporting the original House passed language, while others backing the Senate passed Language. And some didn't want it in any form.

Yesterday was the last day the State House was scheduled to be in session before the summer recess. To amend the PA Constitution the House and the Senate must pass a proposed amendment 90 days before an election. Since the house and the senate are scheduled be in recess until September - today was the last day to meet that deadline. A constitutional amendment must also pass the House and Senate in two consecutive legislative sessions (legislative sessions are two years - the current 2005-2006 legislative session will end in December).

The upshot is, there will be no state voter referendum to approve an Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment or not in 2007 or 2008. This will definely put a cramp into the Republicans' plans to piggyback the referendum onto the back of the 2008 US presidental election in their efforts to paint that state red. (Pennsylvania is considered a blue state since Democrats Al Gore and John Kerry carried the state in the 2000 and 2004 elections.)

Of course the amendment's supporters are vowing to bring back the amendment in the next legislative session, some of them itching to pass the more restrictive House version again. If successful the earliest an amendment could appear on a PA ballot would be May 2009.

But for right now we can take one giant breath of relief. This is certainly a good conclusion to a rough Gay Pride Month this year, between the efforts to write anti-gay marriage language into the PA State and US Constitutions and Kevin Aviance being gay-bashed (which is only the most visible tip of the iceberg of all the violence that happens to gays across the country). Anyhow take care and take pride, y'all!


Blogger The Divine Ms. Jimmi said...

Well, being an election is coming out--they don't want to endanger their careers yet.

12:19 PM  

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