Pennsylvania lawmakers announced new marriage equality legislation today.
State Sen. Daylin Leach (D) was joined by fellow lawmakers in front of the iconic LOVE statue in Center City Philadelphia. Joining Leach were Reps. Brian Sims (D) and Steve McCarter (D) and others.
This isn't the first time that Leach, who represents parts of Delaware and Montgomery Counties, has tried to get a same-sex marriage bill passed. This is however the first time for Sims and McCarter to propose such legislation in the House.
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Sims says it's time to grant equal status to gays and lesbians in Pennsylvania. He says current laws are discriminatory and drive away business from the state.
"The time has come for Pennsylvania’s legislature to stand up and let our citizens know we see them as truly equal members of society and they have the right to choose whom they marry," Sims said.
Similar bills have gone nowhere in Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled Legislature.
The bill may seem a long shot right now but Sims insists that one day such legislation will become law. Such legislation would be a huge step forward for the LGBT community.
Pennsylvania law defines marriage as being between one man and one woman and it is the only northeastern state that doesn't recognize same-sex marriages or civil unions.
Several lawsuits are pending in state and federal courts challenging the law, which also does not allow state recognition of same-sex marriages performed legally in other jurisdictions.