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Senator: “We’re allowing gays to exist” (Updated With Audio)

by David Badash on June 19, 2009

in Bigotry Watch,Civil Rights,Legislation,Marriage,News,Politics

Post image for Senator: “We’re allowing gays to exist” (Updated With Audio)

Pennsylvania Republican Wants Constitution Amended

State Senator John Eichelberger, who has introduced a bill that would amend the Pennsylvania constitution to define marriage as being between only a woman and a man, told local radio station WHYY today that gays are “… 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.”

Keystone Progress, a Pennsylvania “multi-issue progressive advocacy organization,” immediately created a petition demanding an apology. They list the exchange on the radio, between Senator Eichelberger and his opponent, Daylin Leach, a Democratic Senator who has introduced a gay marriage bill, as follows:

Leach:   How would he [Eichelberger] want to encourage stability in gay couples?

Eichelberger: I wouldn’t.  I mean they can practice whatever sexual activity they like to practice, but there’s no reason to give them special consideration.  We don’t give them special consideration in Pennsylvania for any reason.  Why in the world would we allow them to marry?

Leach:  How would he want to encourage stability in gay couples?

Eichelberger:  There is no reason to encourage that type of behavior in Pennsylvania.

Eichelberger:  That comes back to the definition of family and that’s where we differ.  We can call all kinds of things families.  I mean, we can say a 3 party marriage is a family, or 7 or 8 people or marrying younger and younger children these days .

Host:  Are you saying that by their very nature homosexual relationships are dysfunctional?

Eichelberger:  [Pause] Ummmm.  I guess I would say that.  I would say that.

Eichelberger:  This changes the definition of marriage, allowing same-sex, and then like I said, 5-10 years from now it’ll be polygamy, marrying younger people, it’ll be whatever…It won’t be a 6 year old, it’ll be a 15 year old, then it’ll be a 14 year old, then it’ll be a 13 year old.

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.

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DKJ63 June 20, 2009 at 2:08 am

I swear when I read, "…We’re allowing them to exist." I did a double take and kept blinking, like I had something painful in my eye. I couldn't believe it. I am very angry right now.

PeppR June 20, 2009 at 1:55 pm

And we're allowing heterosexuals to exist. We just dont have the upperhand as they do. lol. On a serious note: thats just plain bigotry! Eichelberger, "We’re just not rewarding them with any special designation." Yeah, heteros deserve special designation. Not us.. riiiiiiiight. Well, I believe change is coming and we will have equality someday. I hope I live to see it.

leewaters June 20, 2009 at 5:00 pm

"And we're allowing heterosexuals to exist. We just dont have the upperhand as they do."

Why did you add "on a serious note". ;)

taffystuck June 20, 2009 at 7:06 am

I think I must have been living a sheltered life or something because I am actually sickened right now I mean I can´t believe what I´m reading lately.This "persons" whole attitude makes me just want to go and smash things up or "brainwash" some civility and humility and just some decent like and respect into him.I am truly ashamed of people like this who lack the above.I´m a straight woman with 3 daughters whose ages are 12,15,and 18 and we don´t give a s··t if you´re gay,bi,trans,or WHATEVER.We treat people for how they are and try to treat the people we know as we ourselves would like to be treated,ok SUN

bridgeout June 20, 2009 at 4:47 pm

Absolutely unacceptable!! I just moved to PA. from OR. and I am appalled at the place PA. is as far as relationship recognition and rights for same sex relationships. I sure do miss Basic Rights Oregon about now!
Is PA. going to fight this unacceptable bigotry?

Pat June 20, 2009 at 4:47 pm

I read that like he's just one step above Hitler…the Nazi's didn't allow Jews to exist, but we good folks here in PA are letting those gays live, right? Holy crap, is this really America? And is this someone that actually got voted into office? I am just sick to my stomach.

Nelson G June 20, 2009 at 4:57 pm

bridgeout, I e-mailed a local activist group, Equality Advocates Pennsylvania – they appear to be Pennsylvania's Equality group – about maybe issuing a statement on their website or e-mail alert.

I've not yet gotten a response from them.

It might help if others would stop complaining about car commercials or questioning whether the pride flag should be updated and get with the program.

bridgeout June 20, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Thank you Nelson! Good call!!

dawn101 June 20, 2009 at 5:51 pm

This is disgusting and is a perfect example of what is wrong with this world…when a statement like this is said we all need to stand up and oppose it. Gay, straight, black or white it is ideas like this that have lead to genocide and yes The Holocaust. We have lived through enough hate it's time to turn it around and leave our kids a legacy of love and I mean ALL forms of love.

qmuser June 20, 2009 at 6:46 pm

Is this the 1950's segregated south? This is like a senator from that era saying "we're allowing the colored folk to have their own diners." In retrospect if senator had said something like that then, we would see it as the hateful comment it was meant to be. In what I hope is none to distant future everyone will see Senator Eichelberger's comment in the same light.

Jae'da June 20, 2009 at 7:18 pm

Wooooooow. That's an impressive display of stupidity and ignorance. We allow stupid people to exist, right?

OTRDriver1 June 20, 2009 at 4:56 pm

Did the Senator just crawl out from under a rock? I can't believe he would make such a statement, let alone one that is so defamatory! This guy needs sensitivity training or just to be removed from office and put back on the farm. Or where ever he came from, I'm sure the citizens of his district do not share his beliefs. Maybe it's time to start recalling some of these over zealot bigots…

Wooow. June 21, 2009 at 3:00 am

WTF?! Allowing gay people to exist? Congrats, you have now moved up from Hitler level. You don't want to kill them. That's one step. Wan't a cookie? What a crazy person. People like him, make me ashamed to be straight. Or human for that matter.

Shaun R. June 21, 2009 at 10:52 pm

I'm absolutely appalled – and happy to not live in PA. When will stop promoting such ignorant people to positions of power? I mean seriously, your a Senator. Think about what you say in the public forum. You have the right to not aprove of homosexuality just as we have the right to not approve of homophobic zealots – but to claim that you are allowing homosexuals to exist is just deplorable. Hopefully the good citizens of PA will not allow him to exist as their Senator for much longer…

wayne kahler February 17, 2010 at 5:59 pm

I sure hope that he is not Jewish. He would have made a good lieutenant for the Third Reich.

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