PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Two Pennsylvania State Representatives announced a new bill calling for marriage equality on Thursday morning.
Reps. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) and Steve McCarter (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) made the announcement on the introduction of H.B. 1686, the Pennsylvania Marriage Equality Act, in the city’s Love Park.
“The majority of Pennsylvanians now support marriage equality, and that support continues to grow,” Sims said. “Neighboring states, including New York, Maryland and Delaware, have all decided to be on the right side of history and have granted equal rights to their LGBT citizens. 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.”
“This goes beyond simply legalizing gay marriage,” McCarter said. “This is about ensuring all Pennsylvanians have equal benefits and protections before the law. Marriage equality and the benefits associated with it need to be afforded to all of our citizens, and the people of Pennsylvania support that idea. The issue is getting our fellow legislators to listen to their constituents and the voice of Pennsylvanians who are calling for this bill to proceed.”
Sims, who became the first openly gay candidate to win a seat in the legislature, and McCarter say they’ve received bipartisan support for the bill and expect it will eventually pass.