Statement of Equality Pennsylvania on the dropping from Consideration
of the Marriage Constitutional Amendment: THANK YOU!
Harrisburg: Equality Pennsylvania today thanks members of the House State Government Committee for dropping consideration of HB 1434, the mean-spirited and nonsensical amendment to the constitution on marriage.
At a time when Pennsylvanians are facing great uncertainty in their lives due to the economy as well as deep and unprecedented cuts to programs that support their health and welfare, how can any elected official in Harrisburg be serious about an issue that so few in the public count as either a threat or even a concern? Not only has poll after poll shown little interest from the public in talking about marriage at any level, most have shown a significant and growing acceptance of same-sex relationships everywhere.
Over the course of the last 6-12 months, five national polls (Gallup, PRRI, CNN/ORC, ABC/Washington Post and Pew) have shown growing and significant support for same-sex relationships. In fact, four of these polls showed over 50% support. In Pennsylvania, the findings are no different. Nearly a year ago, Public Policy Polling found that an overwhelming 65% of Pennsylvanians thought same sex couples should have all the legal rights that married heterosexual couples do. The last Franklin & Marshall College Poll noted that 50% of residents either strongly or somewhat favored giving same sex couples the right to marry. That’s an 8% increase since 2009. And finally, for the first time since they began polling Muhlenberg College’s Institute of Public Opinion found that a majority of Pennsylvanians believed that same sex marriage should be legally recognized.
In 2012, this is not an issue. It creates no jobs. It comes with hidden costs. It forcefully terminates existing domestic partnership benefits of thousands of municipal and state employees. It takes even the discussion of granting civil unions or domestic partnership benefits off the table. And as polls show, it is out of touch with the point of view of most Pennsylvanians. We call on the Legislature to act on serious issues and to stay away from those that needlessly hurt citizens.
Equality Pennsylvania is committed to defeating the constitutional amendment and we believe in equal marriage rights for ALL people. Our mission is to be the preeminent LGBT advocacy organization for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and work collaboratively to establish a comprehensive network of individuals and organizations united in securing equal rights for the LGBT community (equalitypa.org)