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Pennsylvania's marriage amendment faces challenge

Interestingly, although this amendment is likely to gain momentum — the state’s House is GOP-controlled — it may hit a roadblock even if it passes, because of non-discrimination language in the state’s Constitution. How will the wingers get around this? (365gay):

State Rep. Scott W. Boyd (R-Lancaster) said the measure already has 88 co-sponsors and the number is growing. Most are Republicans but some Democrats have signed on as well.

…Boyd said that the amendment would say: “Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this commonwealth, and neither the commonwealth now nor any of its political subdivisions shall create or recognize a legal status identical or substantially equivalent to that of marriage for unmarried individuals.”

LGBT civil rights activists say the wording is unclear and could be used to block civil unions or domestic partnerships.

…The proposed amendment may come in conflict with provisions already in the Pennsylvania constitution.

Article I calls for equal treatment.

Section 26 says that “Neither the Commonwealth nor any political subdivision thereof shall deny to any person the enjoyment of any civil right, nor discriminate against any person in the exercise of any civil right.”

Section 28 states: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania because of the sex of the individual.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding