by Damon Boughamer
Public Radio Capitol News, serving Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, Penna. (PRCN, 13 March 2006) -- Opponents of a gay marriage ban – rallying at the state Capitol – said there’s no room for discrimination in the state constitution.
Gay marriage is already disallowed in Pennsylvania, but there’s a push to reinforce the message with a constitutional amendment.
Interest group leaders and several lawmakers – all Democrats – said it would do nothing to protect traditional relationships, as sponsors claim.
Representative Mike Veon of Beaver County is the House Minority Whip and the only lawmaker in leadership who appeared.
"House Bill 2381 is a small piece of legislation," Veon said. "That small piece of legislation is filled with very small ideas."
The Reverend Paul Fullmer of Lebanon Valley College added historical perspective.
"People of faith, we rightly look back with great pride to good work that our congregations undertook in the abolition of segregation and the abolition of slavery. Yet if we speak in support of an amendment like House Bill 2381, we support the very discrimination that we find so reprehensible in generations of the past," Rev. Fullmer said.
The amendment could be presented to voters in 2007 or 2008.