by Lauren Daley
Well that didn't take long.
Just more than 24 hours since the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a portion of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and delivered a ruling that allows same-sex marriage in California, two Democratic state representatives from Pennsylvania say they will introduce a marriage equality bill here. (Sen. Daylin Leach has proposed marriage equality bills several times as well.) An identical bill already exists in the Senate.
The bill will be introduced by Philadelphia-area Democrats state Rep. Brian Sims, the first openly-gay elected state representative, and Rep. Steve McCarter.
"LGBT Pennsylvanians are seeing their neighbors in New York, Maryland and Delaware, among other states, now qualify for the approximately 1,000 federal rights and benefits that come with civil marriage and they are increasingly asking why they don't have those same rights, as well as the state rights and benefits," Sims said in a press release. Marriage equality has steadily grown, now standing at majority support in recent Pennsylvania polls. I believe that more and more legislators from both parties will decide to be on the right side of history."
The bill, according to Sims and McCarter, would provide protections for religious organizations and entities that do not wish to sanction, perform or in any way recognize same-sex civil marriages.