Up in Pennsylvania, Republican Senator John Eichelberger once again tried to ban gay marriage, but his latest effort to amend the state constitution seemed all but dead yesterday after three senators who supported a broader measure two years ago voted 'No' this time.
"Make no mistake, they voted to kill the bill, whatever other excuse they may give," said crybaby homophobe Eichelberger, who sponsored the bill.
Senator Daylin Leach, a gay-rights proponent who sponsored the tabling motion, said it was probably an easier vote for senators than taking sides on such a passionate issue. He said, "At the end of the day, the effect is the same: This bill is dead."
All five committee Democrats and three Republicans voted to table the bill, while six Republicans voted against doing so.
While Pennsylvania law already defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, proponents of a constitutional amendment are afraid that gay-rights advocates and Americans for equality would use the courts to overturn it. Amending the constitution, they feel, would guard against that "threat".
On the equality side, a Daylin Leach-sponsored bill to legalize gay marriage has drawn just one co-sponsor and has sat without a vote for nine months in the Judiciary Committee. He believes this latest committee votes reflects a shift in public attitudes toward marriage equality. "When this does become legal in all 50 states, and it will, we're going to look back 10 years later and wonder what the fuss was all about," Leach said.
And of those senators that switched their votes Tuesday, one, Democratic Senator Lisa Boscola, said she is torn. Two years ago, she believed voters should weigh in on the issue, but now, while she does not feel that most people support marriage equality, she no longer believes the constitution should be used to outlaw it.
"That's not what the constitution is about," Boscola said.
No, the Constitution of states or nations should not be used to discriminate. Ever.