A Pennsylvania House panel on Tuesday morning put off debate on a resolution that seeks to ban gay marriage in the state.
The House State Government Committee was expected to vote on the resolution during its 9AM session.
Representative Daryl Metcalfe's proposal would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to ban recognition of any “substantial equivalent” to heterosexual marriage. The Republican lawmaker introduced his measure last year.
“I call on the gentleman from Butler County to withdraw this discriminatory, backward legislation,” Josephs said in a press release. “Instead of finding ways to create jobs and promote a healthier, more prosperous Commonwealth, Harrisburg Republicans have started a war on women's health and now they're attacking committed LGBT couples and families all over the country.”
According to Capitol Ideas, a blog of The Morning Call, Metcalfe cited a large number of amendments attached to the bill as the reason for his decision to set it aside.
Gay rights advocate Equality Pennsylvania, which packed the committee hearing with supporters and launched a petition calling on lawmakers to drop the amendment and focus on economic issues instead, claimed victory on its Facebook page.
“Today, Equality PA [and its partners] succeeded in having House Bill 1434, the mean-spirited and nonsensical constitutional amendment on same-sex marriage, pulled from the agenda for consideration by the House State Governorship Committee,” the group wrote in a post.
The question could appear on the 2013 ballot, if approved by two consecutive sessions of the Legislature. Currently, Pennsylvania law forbids gay couples from marrying. Opponents argue that the institution remains vulnerable to a legal challenge without a constitutional amendment.
Source: On Top Magazine