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Lawmakers: Marriage equality a long way away in PA

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 07 2013 05:04:38 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 07 2013 10:33:30 PM CST

Lawmakers: Marriage equality a long way away in PA

EASTON, Pa. -

A group in Pennsylvania is marching to New Jersey to “bridge the gap” for marriage equality.

But depending on who you ask, this issue may not be settled anytime soon in the Keystone State.

The group marched down Northampton Street Thursday night

Once members are across the bridge, three same-sex marriages took place in Phillipsburg, NJ

Meantime, state representatives on both sides of the issue are prepared for a long battle. on the issue.

House bill 1647, legislation to repeal Pennsylvania's defense of marriage act, was introduced in September, but since then the legislation has been in the judiciary committee.

"You don't introduce legislation and expect it to pass overnight," said PA Representative Mike Schlossberg, representing Lehigh County. "Legislation takes session, upon session, sometimes more than a decade before it really becomes law."

Some in Harrisburg feel the fight over same-sex marriages may continue even beyond that.

"As far as I can see there's no bipartisan support to change Pennsylvania's defense of marriage act," said PA representative Mark Gillen, representing Berks county.

Fourteen state representatives including Lehigh County's Mike Schlossberg sponsored the bill.

Schlossberg says 15 states have already approved marriage equality and it's time for Pennsylvania to do the same.

Not everyone agrees.

"This legislature is not going to embrace nor pass something that tears at the bedrock of our culture and that is traditional marriage," added Gillen.

"I don't see how my marriage is effected even slightly by the marriage of two men or two women,” said Schlossberg.

Representative Schlossberg says it could take years for the legislation to pass maybe even a decade.

Representative Gillen says he can't predict what will happen a generation from now, but he doesn't see this bill passing in 2013 or 2014.