Breaking: State Rep. Brian Sims to introduce marriage equality bill

State Rep. Brian Sims

State Rep. Brian Sims

In light of yesterday’s Supreme Court decisions which overruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 in California, state Rep. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) has told Philadelphia Weekly that he will introduce a bill to legalize LGBT marriage in Pennsylvania.

“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.”

Sims, the first openly-gay legislator ever elected in Pennsylvania history, has sent around the memo alongside state Rep. Stephen McCarter (D-Montgomery). The bill would make Pennsylvania’s laws similar to those of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

State Sen. Daylin Leach has introduced a gay marriage bill in the Senate, SB 719. Leach noted in his memo earlier this year that current marriage law in Pennsylvania is “archaic protocol which treats an entire class of citizens as second-class.” State Rep. Mark Cohen has also introduced a civil unions bill in the House, though Sims and McCarter’s legislation would be the first gay marriage bill in that chamber of the Legislature this year.

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9 Responses to “ Breaking: State Rep. Brian Sims to introduce marriage equality bill ”

  1. Sascha Fink says:

    No way. Not in PA. I would love to see it, but remember where Rick Santorum came from…right here. PA is guns, God, and Bible and that leaves no room for marriage equality. Sorry to say. :(

  2. Andy says:

    As someone who grew up in Pennsyl-tucky that currently lives in California, I have my doubts on this winning in a vote. Yes, Rick Santorum did come out of PA, but he also lost big as an incumbent…so there is hope. Its all comes down to voter turnout, as the larger cities in the state tend to vote very liberal, while the huge rural center of the state favors “guns, God, and Bible” as Sascha put it. Opinions on this are “evolving,” even within Pennsylvania. If not this time, it will pass in the near future.

  3. Ken says:

    I think everyone should of the right to be married. And if the redneck Bible people don’t like it then take your gun and go kill your self. And in the Catholic people Are against gay marriage Let them go give more money to the church so their priest go molest some more kids.
    Gay power Gay marriage it’s coming And it’s about damn time.

  4. Derrick says:

    Ken, Catholics as a whole tend to support gay marriage, so I don’t quite understand the animosity toward them. The leadership of the church is a different story. That being said, if we truly want to work toward progress we must continue being inclusive to all people who may have an open mind. You can’t write off entire groups of people, especially if the vast majority of those people support us!

  5. It is wrong to clump all Christians and “Bible” people, and even rednecks, as against marriage equality. It is okay to debate the issue, but we need to work on changing hearts and minds, not offending the same people we may depend on to support our efforts to be treated equally under the law in Pennsylvania. A little diplomacy goes a long way. I was a gay activist at Indiana University of PA in the early to mid 90s, and I could tell you some stories – getting stones thrown at me in the Oak Grove and ultimately educating the same people who launched the attack. They became allies when light and understanding was shed on their ignorance.

  6. This is BETTER than no change, no movement. They say a body in motion stays in motion. A body in rest stays in rest. Lets bring peace and love to Pennsylvania!

  7. Mark says:

    Why are Christians always so willing to lecture to gay people about how not all Christians are anti-gay, and not the slightest bit interested in telling that to all the Christians who ARE anti-gay? Stop defending yourselves to us, and start telling your fellow church-goers, ministers, and – more importantly – your government representatives, that you support equality for ALL people. Then maybe we’ll believe you. Until then, all we hear are politicians screeching about discrimination in the name of God, and pastors telling us we’re going to burn in hell.

  8. Richard says:

    How is this equality when it only legitimizes monosexuality by telling bisexuals to go fuck themselves? Also marriage benefits were given as means to make people consider to marry, if marriage is seen as a “right” then those benefits should be given to all.

  9. Jess says:

    Richard, you’re mixing up bisexuality (attracted to both sexes) and polygamy (being married to multiple partners at once). There are plenty of monogamous bisexuals out there.

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