Stealth legislation and gross intolerance

Guest Blogger: Landsdale resident Betty Leifer sounds off on the PA Marriage Protection Amendment. Betty’s letter was published in The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) on March 29, 2006, during a series of editorials on the State Legislature.

There they go again!

When our state legislature enacted a stealth raise, the citizens of Pennsylvania rose up. The message was clear and our government representatives backed down. Well, they’re doing it again. More stealth legislation is in the works. Very quietly, Representative Boyd (R-Lancaster) has drafted an Amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution and has successfully garnered many co-sponsors.

Is our legislature working to improve the cost and quality of health care? No! Are they working to improve our children’s education? No! Are they working to ensure that our tax money is not wasted? No! Are they implementing rules to control the corrupting influence of lobbyists? No!

Instead, our legislature is working to deprive a very small and vulnerable part of our citizenry of their civil and human rights.

The proposed amendment (HB#2381) states that “… 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.” The
effect of this new legislation, should it pass, would be to forever outlaw the creation of civil unions or domestic partnerships for those individuals who are
prevented from marrying in Pennsylvania. It also leaves in question the status
of the domestic partnership benefits now accorded to Montgomery county

When I asked a state representative about this proposed amendment, I heard two astounding things. One was “we were trying to keep this quiet” and the other was that the full implications of this legislation had not been understood.

Please tell your state legislators to stop this nonsense and get to work on improving the lives of Pennsylvanians.
Betty Leifer
Lansdale, PA

The Pennsylvania House may vote on this bill today, with only the briefest farce of an informational hearing. Only four speakers were allowed to testify, last week, barely scratching the surface of the intended and unintended consequences of this amendment. Newspapers in York, Allentown, Scranton, Harrisburg, and Chambersberg have all come out against HB 2381, criticizing the “gross intolerance,” divisiveness, political opportunism and short-sightedness of its proponents, who refuse to even consider how this bill will impact Pennsylvanians: LGBT families, foster kids, seniors, domestic violence victims and many many others…

We all need to continue to speak out on this issue – in the papers, to each other and to our legislators. Keep calling the reps and start calling your senators, this week!

Amy Laura in Philly

2 thoughts on “Stealth legislation and gross intolerance

  1. I just don’t understand how these people can sleep at night. Are they SO content that they’re doing God’s work that they can ignore the harm they’re doing to GOOD people?

    How can ANY elected official stand up and say they support the people’s will, when they don’t even TRY to listen to them?

  2. The problem is one of perspective, from the POV of someone like Representative Mike Turzai (R-McCandless)a co-sponsor of this bill, “they” represent the majority, and if the party machine feels that keeping the votes coming requires side-lining homosexuals and femenists (who are probably Democrats anyway) then say amen and re-define marriage, science, and anything else they require.

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