“>Like the swallows return to San Juan Capistrano, with the new legislative session in Harrisburg, bolstered by a Republican majority this time around, anti-equality bigots, funded and backed by exactly who you’d expect, are once again proposing amending the constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to restrict access to marriage only to male-female couples.
What’s telling is that once again, like the previous efforts to get this amendment passed, the proponents have no argument based on anything other than their religious beliefs and appeals to “tradition.”
What’s interesting is that now, unlike in the past, for the first time, we’re seeing polls indicating that a majority — scant, but still a majority — of Americans support marriage equality.
I do not believe that marriage equality is the be all and end all of QUILTBAG rights. Even gaining marriage equality for same gender partners does not always guarantee access to marriage for those amongst us who aren’t cisgender or within the gender binary. But the continued attempt to use a constitutional end-run, preventing people from seeking equal protection under the law via the courts, is a clear and blatant attack on QUILTBAG people and especially existing families, with children who cannot ever have full recognition of their familial structure (often with dire, horrid consequences) and the protection that comes along.
And we cannot let a blatant assault happen without pushing back.
This particular assault comes with two equally noxious associates. Backed by an organization called the Pennsylvania Family Institute (a blatantly sectarian organization affiliated with Focus on the Family) PA Republican legislators are poised, as our schools cut back programs, libraries close, public transportation is decimated and human services struggle to keep people safe, fed and cared for, to focus their attention on this amendment bid, restriction abortion access and starting a statewide school voucher program to divert already slashed education funds to private, mainly religious, largely unregulated “schools.” Sue Kerr has done some excellent preliminary investigation into what PFI is up to in their efforts to influence Pennsylvania legislation. It isn’t pretty.
We’re at a crossroads here. The slight uptick of our economy has allowed a slippery band of well (and secretly funded) regressive politicians to take power in Pennsylvania and they’re doing their damndest to start a social war, pitting themselves against working families, QUILTBAG Pennsylvanians and women.
We have to decide now, if we’re going to let them. I’m prepared to stand on the front lines. Are you?