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Metcalfe sponsors marriage amendment for state constitution

| Monday, May 2, 2011

HARRISBURG -- Changing the Pennsylvania Constitution to define marriage as a union between "one man and one woman" has a long history in the General Assembly, but Rep. Daryl Metcalfe is giving it another shot.

Metcalfe, R-Cranberry, who chairs the House State Government Committee, on Monday announced he is sponsoring a constitutional amendment to define marriage. It would need to be approved in two successive sessions of the Legislature and would then be submitted for approval or rejection by the state's voters. The earliest that could happen would be 2013.

The constitution, if changed, would read: 'Marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized."

The bill's chances are improved in a Republican-controlled legislature, but it is still a contentious issue many lawmakers would rather avoid. As committee chairman, Metcalfe can at least guarantee a committee vote.

'The institution of traditional marriage has never been under greater attack,' said Metcalfe. 'This not only includes the special interests who want to permanently redefine marriage, but unfortunately the executive branch and the federal Department of Justice who have blatantly and recklessly refused to uphold and defend its constitutionality. Once again, it falls to the responsibility of state lawmakers to restore the rule of law and carry out the will of the people.'

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