Pennsylvania - Next for Marriage Equality?
Marriage equality may be coming soon to Pennsylvania, thanks to the efforts of gay state representative Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) who has said he will introduce a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the Keystone State. Currently, Pennsylvania and neighbor New Jersey are the only states in the northeast where same-sex marriage has not been made legal.
As reported in Philadelphia Weekly -
"About two hours ago, I shopped around a co-sponsorship memo for a marriage bill, and I'm going to introduce an LGBT marriage equality bill," he says, adding the Supreme Court cases "helped light the fire under my colleagues to do it now."
The co-sponsorship memo, which is sent out to House members for additional support, notes it "would re-define the definition of marriage as a civil contract between two people who enter into matrimony, and eliminate the current prohibition against same-sex marriage in our Commonwealth. It is important to note that this bill provides protections for religious organizations and entities that do not wish to sanction, perform, or in any way recognize such marriages."
This move comes on the heels of yesterday's historic U.S. Supreme Court rulings against the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8.
As reported on NBC Philadelphia, Sims says there's no reason that gay couples shouldn't enjoy the same rights and benefits as other married couples.
Sims himself also made history back in 2012, when he became the first openly gay candidate to be elected to the Pennsylvania General Assembly.