What the Pa. guv candidates say about legalizing gay marriage in Pennsylvania

Left to right, Carol Sizemore of the Central Pennsylvania chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays stands with Charles Kress, center, and Deb Henry of the York County chapter of PFLAG gathered last year in Harrisburg with others to support same-sex marriage. FILE

Left to right, Carol Sizemore of the Central Pennsylvania chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays stands with Charles Kress, center, and Deb Henry of the York County chapter of PFLAG gathered last year in Harrisburg with others to support same-sex marriage. FILE

We asked the candidates for governor questions about gay marriage, civil unions and the state’s discrimination laws. Here’s a look at what they said:

Democrats

York County businessman Tom Wolf:

I support full marriage equality, and I strongly believe that government should not be in the businesses of denying two people who love each other the right to enter into a marriage and enjoy the love and benefits that come with it. I believe civil unions do not go far enough in granting same-sex partners the benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples. As governor, I will seek to repeal the state’s unconstitutional gay marriage ban and support legislation to recognize marriage equality in the Commonwealth.

Additionally, I will support an Anti-Discrimination Act that makes sexual orientation and gender identity and expression a protected class. At my company, I treat all of my workers fairly and with good benefits. This includes extending benefits to same-sex partners. All people – regardless of sexual orientation – should be treated equally under the law.

U.S. Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz:

In 1996, as a member of the state Senate, I was proud to be one of just five senators to vote against the current Pennsylvania marriage law. As governor, I will be proud to sign its repeal. It is long past time for Pennsylvania to legalize same-sex marriage. I will work with lawmakers to pass legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Former state environmental protection secretary Katie McGinty:

There is no place in our society for discrimination, which is why I would sign a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. If the lawsuit against Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriages is still pending, one of the first steps that I would take would be to drop the defense of the law which I believe is clearly unconstitutional.

I strongly support HB 300 which would prevent discrimination against homosexuals in the workplace, housing and public accommodations and would sign legislation without hesitation.

I will use my position as governor to be a vocal supporter of equality under the law for all Pennsylvanians.

State Treasurer Rob McCord also supports legalizing same-sex marriage. Like the other Democratic candidates, he supports banning employment and housing discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Republicans

Montgomery County businessman Robert Guzzardi opposes allowing gay couples to form civil unions or enter into marriages. He said:

Historically and etymologically marriage is between a man and a woman.

Men and women are different, (spiritually) and physically. There is no reason that homosexuals, to be authentic, should act like heterosexuals. The dynamics between a man and a woman have a totally different dynamic than between two men or two men.

Anything that a Gay or Lesbian person can achieve with marriage or civil union can be achieved by property rights and contract.

He also doesn’t want to ban employment and housing discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity

Republican Gov. Tom Corbett did not complete our questionnaire.

 

About Ed Mahon

County government and politics reporter at York Daily Record/Sunday News.
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