Senator Eichelberger's comments incense LGBT Activists
Pennsylvania Republican State Senator John Eichelberger's comments incense LGBT activists. Eichelberger, who is sponsoring a Constitutional amendment to redefine marriage as between a man and a woman, made "insensitive remarks" during a June 19 radio debate on WHYY Radio.
[Eichelberger's] most shocking comments came when fellow lawmaker Sen. Daylin Leach (D) asked him how gay men and women should be treated:
Leach: Should our only policy towards [same-sex] couples be one of punishment, to somehow prove that they’ve done something wrong?
Eichelberger: They’re not being punished. We’re allowing them to exist, and do what every American can do. We’re just not rewarding them with any special designation.
LGBT activists were incensed by Eichelberger’s comments, calling on him to apologize for his “insensitive remarks.” Yesterday, gay and straight protesters briefly met with Eichelberger, “after [he tried] ducking them twice.” They presented him with 5,000 signed petitions asking him to apologize. Eichelberger refused to do so:
EICHELBERGER: You know, the public process is very important in this country. That’s what my bill does. It allows the public to make a decision, which I think is a healthy thing. So I appreciate your support of at least that concept.
SPEAKER: So are you going to apologize to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people in Pennsylvania — and all the people in Pennsylvania for those comments about allowing to exist and calling them dysfunctional.
EICHELBERGER: No, I think you know my answer to that. Thank you very much.
Listen to excerpts of the debate, here.