Also via Jillmatrix: A new Pennsylvania law on adoption that carried amendments that would have eliminated domestic partner benefits for state employees was stripped of the amendments shortly before the bill was passed on to the Senate by the PA House of Representatives earlier today.
The amendments, sponsored by State Rep Jerry Birmelin (Wayne), were introduced under the guise of shoring up the state’s defense against the nation’s current rash of gay civil unions. Brief background article here. This article does a good job of explaining what the intent of the actual bill is regarding adoption.
Philadelphia City Council voted unanimously to oppose Birmelin’s amendments. This article is the most comprehensive one i have found so far. I know many people in Philadelphia who are currently covered by domestic partner benefits, though this bill will only effect state employees. It also prevents unmarried hetereosexual couples from applying for the same benefits, and states “A spousal-equivalent relationship shall not be recognized in this commonwelath.”
From the first article: Addressing the House following afternoon caucus meetings, Birmelin let his colleagues know that the topics of same-sex marriage and health benefits “will be coming back in another day, perhaps in another form.” I will endeavor to follow Representative Birmelin’s actions; if he presents similar amendments in the future it is up to voters to let their opinions be known to their local representatives so that they can oppose the bill with confidence.