On May 3, 2011 State Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-12th District) and 35 cosponsors introduced House Bill 1434 (HB 1434) known as the Marriage Protection Amendment. HB 1434 states that “marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the sustainable equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.” This bill is similar to the 2006 anti-gay marriage bill that Rep. Daryl Metcalfe supported. In 2006 the bill passed the House but failed in the Senate.
Same-sex marriage is already banned by statute since 1996 in Pennsylvania. A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a state, city, or county. An amendment would have to be approved by the state legislature in two consecutive terms, which would result in a popular referendum. This would create an obstacle for gay advocates because it is much harder to repeal a constitutional amendment than a statute. This is not the first time an anti-gay marriage amendment has been introduced in the Pennsylvanian State House but this the first time ever this bill has a chance to become reality. With the Republicans controlling both houses of the State Legislature and governor’s mansion, this bill has the chance to be sent to the citizens of Pennsylvania to vote for in the form of a referendum.
Many political observers believe that the State Legislature is too busy with creating a budget and trying to simulate the state economy to worry about passing a bill that will have no effect on creating jobs. But even if the bill passes both houses and Governor Tom Corbett signs the bill, the question remains will the people of Pennsylvania vote yes on HB 1434 in referendum. A referendum is a form direct democracy that allows all the citizens in a state to either accept or reject a particular proposal. According to a poll taken by the Post-Gazette, nearly 70 percent of Pennsylvanians support some form of same-sex marriage or union. This poll clearly shows that Pennsylvanians are more worried about more important issues. Why are 35 Representatives and Rep. Daryl Metcalfe wasting precious time and taxpayer’s dollars going against the will of the people? There are more important things that the House needs to be dealing with like fixing education and bringing more jobs back to PA. In America, no one has the right to be denied any basic human rights. If two people are in love and want to show their love to the world in the form of marriage or civil union, the government has no right to deny them. Contact your State representative to ensure that the right of marriage is protected for all citizens.