Pennsylvania House State Government Committee Chairman Daryl Metcalfe (R) introduced a constitutional amendment to the state's House on Tuesday that would define marriage as solely between one man and one woman.
"The institution of traditional marriage has never been under greater attack," said Metcalfe. "This not only includes the special interests who want to permanently redefine marriage, but unfortunately the executive branch and the federal Department of Justice who have blatantly and recklessly refused to uphold and defend its Constitutionality. Once again, it falls to the responsibility of state lawmakers to restore the rule of law and carry out the will of the people."
The Pennsylvania Constitution requires that a proposed amendment be approved by both chambers of the state's General Assembly and then ratified by a majority of voters in a general election. Unlike other legislation passed by the General Assembly, the Governor of Pennsylvania does not have the power to veto a constitutional amendment.
"The definition of marriage as 'the union of one man and one woman,' defended and upheld by this legislation, is the traditional definition of marriage that has been recognized and accepted throughout history and the world for centuries," Metcalfe added.
Last week, Republican state lawmakers in Minnesota introduced a similar constitutional amendment to the state's Senate to define marriage as solely between one man and one woman. The legislation was passed by the Minnesota Senate and is awaiting a vote by the House.
"It should not be the Obama administration’s Department of Justice and the executive branch bureaucrats that decide this critical issue for our Commonwealth, but rather the voters," Metcalfe said.
In February, President Barack Obama decided that the Defense of Marriage Act, a Clinton-era law that restricts the benefits of marriage to a man and a woman, merited heightened scrutiny from the the courts and ordered the Department of Justice to stop defending it.