SB 707, which Eichelberger introduced Jan. 26, would add to the Pennsylvania Constitution the language: “Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid and recognized as marriage.”
Eichelberger announced his intention to spearhead such an initiative last May, and Sen. Daylin Leach (D-17th Dist.) shortly thereafter introduced a measure that seeks to legalize same-sex marriage in the Keystone State.
To amend the constitution, both chambers of the state legislature would have to pass the so-called Marriage Protection Amendment in two consecutive sessions before the question is posed to voters.
“Pennsylvania voters have the opportunity to decide how they want marriage to be defined and not allow an activist judge to make that decision for them,” Eichelberger said in a statement Tuesday. “Thirty-one other states have already gone through a similar process and in each state, the definition of marriage was upheld.”
The bill has 15 other cosponsors: Republican Sens. Gene Yaw (23rd Dist.), Joseph Scarnati (25th Dist.), Mike Folmer (48th Dist.), Robert Robbins (50th Dist.), Richard Alloway (33rd Dist.), Jake Corman (34th Dist.), John Gordner (27th Dist.), Donald White (41st Dist.), Edwin Erickson (26th Dist.), Jeffrey Piccola (15th Dist.), Bob Mensch (24th Dist.), Lloyd Smucker (13th Dist.) and Michael Brubaker (36th Dist.) and Democrats Richard Kasunic (32nd Dist.) and Raphael Musto (14th Dist.).
Eichelberger said he expects the bill to be sent to the Judiciary Committee, where Leach’s measure presently sits.
Jen Colletta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.