Harrisburg, PA – Tuesday, January 26, 2010, State Senator John H. Eichelberger, Jr. formally introduced Senate Bill 707, a joint resolution to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to include the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman…

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that while I’m all for Marriage Equality, when it comes to Pennsylvania, it is low on my list of issues to work towards. In a state where a person can be fired for simply being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered, what is the value of having gay marriage? The simple act of applying for a marriage license could place many people across the state in jeopardy of losing their jobs, being denied housing or public accommodations. but for me, this move by Senator Eichelberger isn’t really about gay marriage. At it’s core, it is all about writing discrimination into the PA constitution, and that is just plain wrong!

Now, the reason they want to write discrimination into the constitution, is in the hopes of slowing down any progress towards marriage equality. I almost wrote “killing the possibility of marriage equality.” But we know from looking at other states, that when brought before the courts, constitutional bans are seen as unconstitutional. So, in the end, even if this makes it into the constitution, at some point farther down the road, it will be found to be unconstitutional, and will eventually be overturned. but when and at what cost, both in literal dollars and other ways?

Opponents to same-sex marriage claim that whenever this issue is put up to a vote by the people it loses. That is not really a fair statement. A more accurate statement is this: Whenever same-sex marriage is put up for a vote by the people, opponents can launch a campaign of fear mongering, lies and misinformation that is successful at scaring people to vote “No”

Pennsylvania already has a law that bans same-sex marriage. Is there really a need at this time to go farther and write discrimination into the PA Constitution? Is this what we want our senators and representatives spending their time on in Harrisburg? Is this the state we want to see for our children, our families, our friends and our neighbors? As a state, we already see young people leaving in droves, moving to other places across the country where they have a better chance at a full and happy life. Do we really want to continue to push people away by stepping back in time and embracing discrimination?

The following 15 state senators are co-sponsors of the PA Marriage Amendment! Join me by calling them and asking them to remove their sponsorship from this legislation.

  • Sen. Richard Alloway: 717-264-6100
  • Sen. Michael Brubaker: 717-627-0036
  • Sen. Jake Corman: 814-355-0477
  • Sen. John Eichelberger (Lead sponsor): 814-695-8386
  • Sen. Edwin Erickson: 610-853-4100
  • Sen. Mike Folmer: 717-274-6735
  • Sen. John Gordner: 570-784-3464
  • Sen. Richard Kasunic: 724-626-1611
  • Sen. Bob Mensch: 215-529-1215
  • Sen. Raphael Musto: 570-654-1483
  • Sen. Jeffrey Piccola: 717-896-7714
  • Sen. Robert Robbins: 724-588-1323
  • Sen. Joseph Scarnati: 814-726-7201
  • Sen. Lloyd Smucker: 717-397-1309
  • Sen. Donald White: 724-357-0151
  • Sen. Gene Yaw: 570-322-6457

via Senator Eichelberger.


  1. Excellent point Andy!

  2. It's also helpful, if you can fit it in, to include a personal story about why this affects you or someone you care about.

  3. Tina,
    This is a really great question! Here are my thoughts on this.

    In general, many elected officials want to hear primarily from their own constituents. These are the folks for whom they work directly, but that doesn't mean that anyone who is a registered voter in the state can not contact them. They do work for all of us, especially in the Senate. So, I would encourage any registered PA voter to contact al of the Senators listed. They are making decisions that affect every single one of us who live and work here, so we have a right to contact them.

    I think this is especially true given the nature of Eichelberger's legislation. The goal of it is to write discrimination into the State's constitution. That isn't just a simple bill being passed!

    So here is my suggestion for Everyone who is a registered voter in the state of PA:
    1) Phone all of these co-sponsors of the legislation and express your concern about this legislation. I'll say more about how to handle this call in a minute.

    2) Write personal letters to your own state senator, and ask him/her to oppose this legislation.

    3) Pick 2 or more other PA senators, and write personal letters to them and ask them to oppose the legislation.

    Phone call etiquette:
    Do not raise your voice, do not be negative, or disrespectful. Simply state who you are and express that you feel that writing discrimination into the constitution would be wrong, and that it hurts all Pennsylvanians.

    Personal Letters:
    Do not send a form letter! Simply type or hand write a short note of 100-600 words, and express why you feel about writing discrimination into the PA constitution.

    Letter writing parties:
    Get together with a handful of your friends, and spend a few hours writing letters.

    The best thing that gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and supportive allies can do is get 3, 4, or more letters to every single PA Senator! If that happens, our voice will truly be heard!

  4. What is the difference in effectiveness if you are not a constituent? Obviously, you are calling all of them…. I didn't realize that you could call other Senators. So, how does that work? Do they ask if you are in their district? Does it matter?

  5. Yes, again…

  6. are you kidding me???!!! not again…..