In the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling striking down the federal Defense Of Marriage Act and the ACLU's announcement of a lawsuit seeking to overturn the state's "mini-DOMA," State Rep. Steve McCarter issued a statement announcing his plans to legalize same-sex marriage by introducing a marriage equality bill in the Pennsylvania legislature.
"Banning same-sex marriage does not contribute anything to our commonwealth – in fact, I truly believe it is a detriment to Pennsylvania," McCarter said in a statement.
"How many talented businessmen and businesswomen, entrepreneurs, educators and public servants have we lost to New York, Maryland and Delaware simply because those states will recognize their relationship and Pennsylvania will not? It’s time we stop excluding our own citizens and end these discriminatory practices."
McCarter said he and State Rep. Brian Sims are currently gathering support for a bill they plan to introduce later this year "which would finally bring Pennsylvania into the 21st century and allow marriage equality for all citizens."
McCarter also sponsored a bill that would eliminate the inheritance tax for domestic partners in Pennsylvania, and has co-sponsored a legislative package introduced by State Rep. Dan Frankel prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
"I sincerely hope that more of my fellow legislators will join me in continuing to work for worthwhile change and equality for all in Pennsylvania," McCarter said.
"This is fundamentally a civil rights issue."