A state senator from Montgomery County wants to legalize same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania. Senator Daylin Leach says since same-sex marriage has been legalized in Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont and Iowa either through legislation or court rulings, there has never been a better time "for Pennsylvania to embrace equality and enshrine the civil rights of all Pennsylvanians to marry."
In 1996, the Pennsylvania legislature passed the Defense of Marriage Act which defines marriage as a union of a man and a woman. Because of a few court rulings overturning similar laws in other states, some legislators want to strengthen Pennsylvania's marriage law. Senator John Eichelberger of Blair County says he will introduce legislation calling for a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage and polygamy. Thirty states and their voters have approved similar constitutional bans.
However, Senator Leach called the current Pennsylvania marriage law "archaic" and says maintaining it "denies the reality of same-sex families."
Leach says his measure cannot require a religious institution to perform or sanction a same-sex marriage. Under Leach's bill, Pennsylvania would also recognize same-sex marriages conducted in other states.