PA Senate Vote on Marriage Amendment

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As I mentioned in a recent post, the Pennsylvania legislature is currently considering an amendment to the state constitution that purports to do no more than limit marriage to different-sex couples. The amendment would be bad enough if it did just that, but its language is far more sweeping and has the potential to threaten the settled legal expectations of same-sex and unmarried different-sex couples across the state in innumerable areas of the law. (FYI:The text of the proposed amendment reads as follows:”No union other than a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as marriage or the functional equivalent of marriage by the Commonwealth.”)

One of my students is working for the Women’s Law Project here in Pittsburgh this semester. He contacted me the other day because the proposed amendment is coming up for a vote in the Judiciary Committee of the Pennsylvania Senate on March 18th. He asked me whether I would be willing to write a letter to the members of that committee urging them to vote”no”on the proposed amendment. I readily agreed, and you can see a copy of that letter here.

If we have any readers in Pennsylvania, I would encourage them to write to the senators on the Judiciary Committee, too. To help out anyone who is interested in writing a letter, I have posted an MS Word file here that contains a list of addresses and salutations that can be used in creating a mail-merge.

-Anthony C. Infanti

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0 Responses to PA Senate Vote on Marriage Amendment

  1. rootlesscosmo says:

    That “functional equivalent” language sure sounds unconstitutional (vagueness) to me.

  2. Ann Bartow says:

    Somewhat random aside: I did an externship with the Women’s Law Project in Philadelphia when I was in law school, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Obviously that organization is still as fabtastic as ever.

  3. Pingback: Feminist Law Professors » Blog Archive » Update on Pennsylvania"Marriage"Amendment