Friday, August 02, 2013

Marriage Equality Comes To Pennsylvania?


You may have read this week how state Senator Daylin Leach-- who, as a registered officiant, is entitled to legally marry couples in the state of Pennsylvania-- did just that on Monday. He performed a marriage ceremony for a gay couple with a marriage license in Montgomery County, where he and they live. The extreme right, homophobic Governor of Pennsylvania flipped out and now there's a court battle and political war between the Commonwealth and Montgomery County over LGBT marriage equality. Fox News covered it in the clip above.

Tom Corbett, one of America's most hated and mistrusted governors, is demanding that Montgomery County clerk D. Bruce Hanes "cease and desist immediately from issuing marriage licenses to individuals of the same gender in violation of the law."
But the clerk is issuing licenses based on Attorney General Kathleen Kane's belief that the law is unconstitutional, and she won't defend it in court.

Montgomery County began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on July 23.

By Friday, the county issued 26 marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Corbett, who was in the Philadelphia area Tuesday, argued state law must be enforced.

"The law is still the law in Pennsylvania," the governor said. "It has not been overturned by any ruling of the Supreme Court and, until such time the court overturns the law, it has to be enforced."

Corbett argued that if voters want the marriage law changed, the legislature should change it. Asked if he'd sign a bill allowing same sex couples to marry, the governor says he believes marriage should be between a man and a woman.

Again, the Montgomery County solicitor issued a statement saying, "While it comes as no surprise that the Corbett Administration has filed an action seeking to enjoin marriage equality in Montgomery County, the petition filed today in Commonwealth Court by the state Department of Health has serious flaws."

Montgomery County Solicitor Ray McGarry added, "Montgomery County will be filing a response shortly. In the meantime, the Register of Wills office will continue to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples."

...[Leach] thinks the lawsuit will actually push Pennsylvania towards legalizing gay marriage. "It will hopefully bring closer the day that this law is put into the ash heap of history, along with a lot of other laws that prohibited interracial marriage and were otherwise discriminatory. It's time that everyone has the opportunity to marry the person they care about," Senator Daylin Leach. "I actually look forward to a court finally ruling that Pennsylvania's antiquated and discriminatory marriage law is unconstitutional."
Blue America has endorsed Daylin-- you can donate to his campaign here-- but he's up against a bevy of conservative Democrats in the congressional primary in this deep blue seat. Probably worst of the lot is another state Rep, anti-Choice fanatic Brendan Boyle, an "allstar" for the notorious anti-Choice group DFLA, Democrats for Life. He's being supported by Philadelphia party boss Bob Brady but his conservative, corporate politics are a poor fit for the district. He's completely in the pocket of the anti-public school/pro-voucher forces, who have been funding his political career. Slimy anti-education dirtbags Joel Greenberg and Jeffrey Yass have maxed out to him and Boyle has been taking campaign cash from 2 of the worst anti-education outfits, the misnamed Students First PAC and Democrats for Education Reform.

Pennsylvania progressives and libertarians were also upset that Boyle was a supporter of HB2400, an intrusive domestic spying bill, where he voted for increased surveillance that included particularly troubling things like government use in prosecutions of illegally-made civilian wiretaps, allowing  wiretaps in any public place so long as notice is posted or recording equipment is easily visible, allowed any one civilian to record any other civilian if they thought they would get evidence regarding certain serious crimes, and government use of any seized cell phone to gather evidence without any oversight. You want a "Democrat" in Congress backing crap like that? Don't we have enough of that already?

With the Clintons and EMILY's List pushing their own two candidates, the big worry is that a slick ConservaDem like Boyle could slip in and win and go to Congress to bolster the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, the way Sean Patrick Maloney (New Dem-NY), Kyrsten Sinema (New Dem-AZ), Patrick Maloney (New Dem-FL) and Scott Peters (New Dem-CA) have. Let's make sure Boyle doesn't get that chance and that instead the Progressive Caucus gets a new member-- and Congress gets a real Liberal Lion, Daylin Leach.

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