Yesterday, the PA House State Government Committee voted 15-13 to move HB 2381, the Marriage Protection Amendment, to the full House for a vote. A motion to table the bill so that the committee could hold hearings on the legal implications of the bill was narrowly defeated (14-14). Seems that our reps see no reason to do their homework before amending the constitution. (!)
HB 2381, as described in early posts, states that
Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this Commonwealth, and neither the Commonwealth nor any of its political subdivisions shall create or recognize a legal status identical or substantially equivalent to that of marriage for unmarried individuals.
Putting asside for a moment the fact that, in the words of Rep. Steil (R-Bucks) “the constitution is to protect the rights of the individual, the rights of the governed against the government, [not] to define the rights of one individual to another individual.” (i.e. this language doesn’t belong in our constitution. Putting that asside, that “legal status identical or substantially equivalent” language could prove disasterous for many, many people (not just LGBT folks) who may lose health benefits, pension rights, hospital visitation privileges, etc, etc… But, we wouldn’t want to find out what that language really means before it’s inscribed in our constitution, would we? Guess not.