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Pennsylvania Anti-Gay Amendment Dies

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Pennsylvania Anti-Gay Amendment Dies

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

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(Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) A proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania constitution to ban same-sex marriage, block civil unions and possibly curtail domestic partner benefits has died in committee.

The measure had passed the Senate but was tied up in committee in the House which has now recessed for the summer.

Lawmakers will return to the Capitol in September but under state law the amendment cannot be pursued again this year.

State law requires at least 90 days' public notice of an approved amendment before a general election. The issue now considered dead in the fall as well, but conservative lawmakers and religious groups supporting the amendment say they will have the proposed amendment reintroduced in 2007.

Amending the state constitution requires approval by the House and Senate in successive two-year sessions of the General Assembly and then the approval of voters in a statewide referendum.

If a new bill clears both houses next year the earliest it could be put to voters would be 2009.

That's good news for opponents of the bill who ware quick to point out polls show opposition to a sweeping amendment is declining.

Pennsylvania already has legislation on the books that limits marriage to opposite-sex couples. Opponents of the amendment say that is enough.

Supporters of amending the constitution say they fear the so-called Defense of Marriage law could be overturned by the courts.

©365Gay.com 2006

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