Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe has introduced an amendment to the State Constitution to ban equal marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples. Same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania is already banned by statute, and the amendment would need to win the approval of the state legislature in two consecutive terms, which would result in a popular referendum. Republicans currently control both chambers of the Pennsylvania legislature and Metcalfe chairs the House State Government Committee. A committee in the Minnesota State House passed a similar amendment earlier today.
A longtime opponent of gay rights who opposed a resolution condemning domestic violence because he said it was part of the “homosexual agenda,” Metcalfe is one of the most fervently right-wing lawmakers in Pennsylvania. He founded and chairs State Legislators for Legal Immigration, which seeks to overturn the right of birthright citizenship, and also introduced legislation to forcefully undercut the right of workers to form a union. I addition, he introduced a “Birther bill” in Pennsylvania, attacked veterans who protested climate change as “traitors,” and voted against an honorary resolution for a Pennsylvania Muslim group because “Muslims do not recognize Jesus Christ as God.”
He said in a statement that Obama, “bureaucrats” and “special interests” forced him to introduce an amendment:
“Pennsylvania House State Government Committee Chairman State Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) announced today the introduction of a Constitutional amendment to allow the citizens of Pennsylvania to precisely define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
“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.”
To date, voters in 30 states have ratified similar amendments to their state constitutions.
“Pennsylvania voters deserve the opportunity to do the same,” Metcalfe said. “The definition of marriage as ‘the union of one man and one woman,’ defended and upheld by this legislation, is the traditional definition of marriage that has been recognized and accepted throughout history and the world for centuries. It should not be the Obama administration’s Department of Justice and the executive branch bureaucrats that decide this critical issue for our Commonwealth, but rather the voters.”