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For those that haven't been keeping track...PA SB707 will be voted on tomorrow in the PA Senate Judiciary Committee. This bill would ban same sex marriage in the PA State Constitution!  

Please, if you live in PA or know anyone who does forward this diary to them.  

Keystone Progress has put together a very simple way to email everyone one would want to email encouraging them to do what is right and vote AGAINST this bill- please if you live in PA go that link and do it...do it NOW!

I'd like to share with you a letter to Sen. Smucker that was written by a close friend of mine who prefers to remain anonymous.  She said it so much better than I as a straight woman could so I asked for her permission to post it here and she agreed.  This is what she said:

Sen. Smucker-

I would strongly encourage to keep in mind that your constituency is made of a diverse group of people. We are of many races, religious views, socio-economic, political and educational backgrounds. This bill is legislating discrimination into the PA state constitution. Even if you believe the same sex marriage is contrary to your personal views, it would be irresponsible to assume that your views reflect all of your constituents. Do you think that people who happen to love their same sex partners are any less deserving of a right to legally recognize that person as a spouse? Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey(ed note: It was pointed out in the comments that NJ only has civil unions), and Massachusetts have not imploded or become any less democratic because they now recognize same sex marriages. Heterosexual marriages are not threatened by allowing same-sex marriages to occur. Please do not let Pennsylvania be counted in the states that believe that there are 2 classes of people - those allowed to legalize their commitment in a state sanctioned and universally understood method and those who aren't deserving of that option.

It is not only the gay folks who benefit by having the option to legally marry their partner, marriages and all of the ancillary events bring in dollars to businesses, local economies, and have a trickle down effect. Lancaster county contains thriving cultural communities, and being able to market an inclusive environment with art, theatre, musical, restaurant, and lodging options will go far in bringing in dollars to the area.

You were probably elected by your more conservative voters, however, you do have other constituents to consider - sexual orientation is not a determinant of political orientation. I'm sure that there are gays who voted for you and many other gay (and straight) citizens who didn't vote for you. You need to represent them equally. Please don't deny them the same rights that you enjoy.

Please do not vote for this bill even though you were a sponsor - it is discriminatory. Discrimination should not be made part of any state's constitution - not in a democracy where individual's rights are valued and diversity is encouraged. After all, America is celebrated as a melting pot - of races, ethnicities, religions, and abilities. Don't take us back to the dark ages when hate and discrimination was commonplace. There are many more important issues that the legislature should be worried about - jobs, the economy, education, and health care to name a few.

Signed,
A concerned citizen

Originally posted to Spedwybabs on Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 09:18 AM PDT.

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